#moriarty - the first to say this to sherlock’s face and have him believe it #i love how endeared he looks as he says this #i really do think he’s drawn to this buried sentimentality within sherlock #and after the relief at the ‘you’re me’ reveal during reichenbach #i really do think moriarty wanted to believe himself capable of it as well #and he was - of course he was #you don’t obsessively pursue someone for 20+ years and feel nothing #i think it scares moriarty on the rooftop to think he’s wasted years of sentiment on someone who wasn’t worth it #and his relief stems from realizing that sherlock has been more than a disappointing distraction all along#honestly? i think moriarty loved him. i really do. #i just don’t think he allowed himself to believe or accept it until the very end #i can’t get over how much moriarty invested in sherlock #my god #it’s a level of emotional attachment literally unfathomable to me #TWENTY YEARS. since carl powers. #twenty years of playing and watching and waiting and desiring and HOPING most of all
Ugh, YES. It’s a secret Sherlock has managed to keep to himself all this time, but Moriarty plucks it off him like it’s a piece of lint on his suit only visible to their eyes only. Of course Sherlock has a heart to burn. Who is he trying to fool? Look at what side he’s on. He cares. He doesn’t care in the way people wants him to care, nor does he care about the same aspects they do, but he cares more than any of them ever could because Sherlock Holmes is on the side of the angels. The angels, the good people. He can just as easily be out there blowing up half of London with Moriarty and getting away with it on top of that, but he’s not. He lays there in his flat CHOOSING to be bored and WAITING for someone to give him something to do instead of creating the problems himself like everyone assumes he does. Why? Because he cares. He knows the dangerous things he’s capable of, and yet elects to help people instead of making things worse for them because that’s where the real challenge is at for him - being on the good side while not being very good yourself. He’s never going to be one of these people because of that, which makes his struggle to be secretly accepted by them harder. He can’t let them know that, though, because then he’d be showing how much he cares. Caring is not an advantage. He’s gone as far as letting them believe he doesn’t have a heart, so long as it throws people off the scent that he’s made of the same human components like everyone else is despite how machine-like he comes off. He wants to remove those “disadvantages” in his work and his own life so bad, but he can’t because he cares. He wants to be human but not be human all at the same time. Feelings aren’t the thing that’s going to betray him, caring will. Caring is going to kick his ass every time.
And yet no one thinks to look at Moriarty the same way. We assume he doesn’t have a heart because he’s bad, and mean, and doesn’t give a shit about anything, but that isn’t “quite true” for him either. All the attention he gives Sherlock is written off as him swearing to destroy his only rival, but couldn’t speak louder about the sentiment he holds for him and how much he cares. Think about it - he could have eliminated Sherlock at any time during these twenty years he’s known he was alive if that’s what he really wanted out of him, but he doesn’t. Why? Because Sherlock can give him things he can’t easily obtain like he can everything else in the world. This is a challenge, his one true match, his one true audience member during his performances, his one true source of understanding and comfort. He knew this and hoped all along he was right, but he wanted Sherlock to confirm this to him so badly it’s an obsession. He cares. A lot. Look at me keep these shoes for twenty years perfectly preserved so you can figure out what really happened to the kid I killed, look at me crafting this elaborate game for only us to play, look at me sending you hints and clues during cases to help you solve the puzzle, look at me giving you my number, look at me flirting with you, look at me inappropriately complimenting you for almost catching me, look at all these damn pet names I have for you, look at me giving you warnings most people don’t get, look at me letting John live despite how envious I am of that little fucker because if he gets to hang with you then I guess I respect that (for now), look at me showing up to this pool when you asked me to when no one gets direct contact, look at me toss away millions of quid and high-profile cases just to give you something to do, look at me not even bothering to take my hands out my pockets during this bomb shoot out because if a single hair on your head is harmed tonight it’s going to be caused by your hand and your hand only, look at me sending you messages of fond regard through Irene, look at me sending you texts with kisses at the end, look at me coming to your house for tea as soon as I’m out of jail when I probably have a lot to catch up on (and look at you making me tea knowing I was coming - how sweet), look at me trying to appeal to your musical tastes by showing how much we have in common outside of crime, look at me orchestrating your demise so brilliantly it’s making your pulse race faster than a cheetah on methamphetamine because I know how much you love it, look at me getting direct with you when I don’t like to get my hands dirty, look at me sitting on this rooftop revealing to you I’ve been a miserable person all my life and everything in the world disappoints me like you’re probably about to do, look at me getting upset you’re not beating the pants off me like I was hoping because you’re too busy focusing on winning, look at me not being able to let you jump off this building without off-handedly mentioning there’s a way out, look at me give you a moment to privacy, look at me being disappointed you of all people are boring when I already believe everyone is beneath me, look at me filled with euphoric delight that you finally pushed back and confirmed you’re just as screwed up at your core as I am - I am you/you’re me, look at me wanting to simply touch you and shake your hand before I die, look at me thank you, look at me not letting go of you while I shoot myself in the mouth, LOOK AT HOW MUCH I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. Like, really. What his heart is consumed with could not be more obvious. Just watch the last few seconds of Hounds and there’s your answer. He covers it up with the occasional menacing glance and comments about death, but he still does all of this for Sherlock. They often contradict how they should be acting according to the images everyone around them has formed, but those people are the ones that don’t make sense, not Sherlock and Moriarty. These bastards care so much it actually kills them in the end to prove it, both in metaphorical and literal terms. Not too many characters on this show are going to be able to say that.