blind_author (blind_author) wrote,

Sherlock Fic - Reaction, Part Four

Title: Reaction
Rating: R/NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, and am making no profit from their use, more's the pity.
Warnings: Non-con and slash, Sherlock/John leanings.
Summary: Written for a prompt on the kinkmeme: Before shoving him in the explosive vest, Moriarty fucked John, viciously. John makes it through the whole encounter with Moriarty and Holmes via his own badass soldier nerves of steel, but afterwards, when he and Sherlock are admitted to the hospital for minor burns and abrasions and shock, the hospital staff find other injuries on John.

(Title page by [info]birddi)

Part One
Part Two
Part Three


Lestrade didn't know much about John Watson, but he knew he was a good sort of man. Decent, honest, and the upstanding, moral sort that Lestrade almost never met in his line of work because he never had to. And he was just a little bit insane – Lestrade was quite sure there could be no other explanation.


When John had first started turning up at crime scenes with Sherlock and following him about on the man's mad trawls through the city, Lestrade had just assumed that the sex must be really good. But when he'd intimated something along those lines – mentioned to John in passing that he was happy Sherlock had finally found someone to mellow him out a little – John had looked first surprised, then exasperated.


“We're not like that,” he'd said, with the weariness of someone who'd done this more times than they could count.


“Oh.” Lestrade had felt a faint flicker of embarrassment – he was a policeman, it was his job to read people and he rarely got that sort of thing wrong.


His embarrassment hadn't been helped by the whispered conversation he'd overheard between Sherlock and John not five minutes later.


“Lestrade basically just asked me how our relationship is going – it's official, everyone thinks we're having sex.” It had been John speaking, and he'd sounded irritated.


“Really?” Sherlock had sounded only mildly intrigued, as though this was only marginally more interesting than sitting around making intrusive observations about anyone and everyone in sight. “How pedestrian of them.”


“Sherlock, this has to stop.”


“What do you mean?”


“Whatever you're doing that makes people think we're a couple.”


“And how do you know I'm the one giving that impression?”


“Because I'm fairly certain it's nothing I'm doing, so it must be something you're doing, so whatever it is, stop it.”


“Fine logical progression, John, you're really coming along quite nicely...”


Their voices had faded out then and Lestrade had never got to hear the end of the conversation. But the revelation that John wasn't, in fact, having sex with Sherlock had led Lestrade to conclude that the doctor couldn't be completely sane. Certainly that was the only explanation for the staggering amounts of time he spent in Sherlock's company.


Lestrade didn't mind Sherlock as much as the rest of the force seemed to, perhaps because his personal philosophy was that Sherlock was akin to some bizarre force of nature; you just stayed out of his way and everything was sorted out that much faster. Trying to hinder him just led to unpleasant and messy situations.


Still, for all that he got along with Sherlock (as much as anyone 'got along' with Sherlock), you couldn't have paid Lestrade to live with the bloke. John Watson not only lived with Sherlock, but actually helped with cases and, in short, spent far more time in his company than Lestrade was sure any wholly sane man could bear.


But in spite of whatever mental illness he possessed, John was a good man, so when Lestrade learned the doctor had been kidnapped by the bomber he was only too willing to throw himself into a car and turn on the sirens and lights full-blast.


An official-looking woman – who was either using a pseudonym or had very sadistic parents – had slid into the car as well, and the ID she flashed had quelled any objections. Lestrade had no idea why the government was getting so heavily involved in this, and had wondered for a few brief moments if this 'Moriarty' person was some kind of international terrorist.


En route, Cassiopeia had told them what she knew, which had been quite a lot. Almost too much, in fact. She knew that John Watson had left Baker Street several hours ago, and had disappeared, abducted by the man known as Moriarty. Sherlock had issued an open invitation to Moriarty to meet at midnight (and Lestrade had experienced a very visceral urge to punch the man at that pronouncement), but was not expecting to find John held hostage.


Lestrade didn't pretend to understand Sherlock, but he did know there was no way that would have ended well.


When he pulled up on the street Cassiopeia had directed them to, Lestrade wasn't really surprised by the presence of another man in front of Sherlock and John; Cassiopeia had hinted that her employer would be waiting for them, so Lestrade assumed this man was her boss. Besides, he was more worried about the two men he knew than the stranger.


Both Sherlock and John had looked like they'd been covered in flour, and the image was so ridiculous it almost brought Lestrade up short. John had been leaning against a wall, looking badly shaken, as though he weren't quite comfortable in his own skin.


Perhaps he should have suspected then, but Lestrade honestly hadn't thought anything of it. The other hostages had broken down and cried after being strapped into bombs, so it was to be expected that John was a bit rattled by it. Besides, it wasn't the doctor that had drawn Lestrade's attention – it had been Sherlock.


Sherlock had actually looked...shaken. Lestrade couldn't count the number of times he'd seen Sherlock actually disturbed by something before tonight, because it had never happened. Sherlock didn't get frightened, or worried, or concerned – it was one of the reasons he unsettled people so much.


Of course, Lestrade also realised that Sherlock wouldn't want him to make anything of it, so he'd obligingly shouted at him for deliberately antagonising an insane criminal.


But then John had yelled at the stranger and the man had rattled off that sickening monologue and Lestrade's first thought had been, 'why didn't I notice?'


He was a policeman – it was his job to notice these things. He should have known something was wrong with John as soon as he was on the scene; never mind that not even Sherlock had known, Lestrade should have known!


He should have known Moriarty would never have made this final round so easy, he should have known there was a twist. He should have known that the extremely lengthy time period between John's initial abduction and the confrontation just screamed that something else had happened to John...


He should have known, but he didn't – instead, he'd had to have it spelled out to him by what had to be the most callous man on the planet. Really, Lestrade wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was a relative of Sherlock's or something.


Almost as soon as the stranger finished his pronouncements, John buckled. Lestrade made an aborted movement forward, but Sherlock was closer and much quicker – he caught the doctor under the arms, cradling John against his chest as he eased him gently to the ground, the expression on his face one Lestrade could only describe as stricken.


John blinked slowly, looking bewildered and not quite sure of his surroundings, but managed to slur a defiant, “Told you I was going to pass out.”


Then his whole body went limp in Sherlock's grasp, his head lolling before the taller man moved to support it. Lestrade leapt forward, dropping to one knee beside them, his fingers automatically going to John's neck to check his pulse. It was there, slow and steady, and there were no irregularities in breathing, either – it seemed John's body had simply given out from exhaustion.


Besides, even if there was a problem, Lestrade could hear an ambulance only minutes away.


He withdrew his hand from John's neck, and almost swore when he saw the spots of blood on his fingertips. Sherlock hissed like an angered snake, and carefully – as gently as if John had been made of spun glass – turned John against his chest and peeled back the collar of his shirt in an effort to get a look at the wound.


For a moment, horror froze Lestrade's blood.


It was a bitemark. The indents of canines and incisors were sharply outlined in blood, as deep as though Moriarty had intended to tear a hunk of John's flesh straight from the bone. And that clear, tangible evidence seemed to bring the sudden reality of the situation around Lestrade's ears with an almost audible crash.


It wasn't that he'd never seen a rape victim before – he had, and while the experience had been far from had never been someone he knew. It had always been a stranger, someone he could disconnect from, at least in part. It sounded callous, but he needed that distance to function – those policemen that didn't have it either learned to acquire it or burned out within the first few years. It was what allowed him to do his job.


But this...this was John. John, who seemed to be the first friend Sherlock had ever had, who wrote up the cases in his blog with ridiculous little titles, who'd coaxed Sherlock into a Bond marathon if that same blog was to be believed.


John, who'd been tied down – handcuffed, actually – trapped and helpless while...


Lestrade firmly stopped that line of thought; it wouldn't do anyone any good.


Sherlock could have been a granite statue, he was so still and expressionless. The only sign of his distress was a minute spasm of a muscle in his jaw and a slight twitch of his fingers where they curled against John's shoulder, as though he was suppressing the urge to hit someone.


Then Sherlock's eyes rose to the man looming over them and Lestrade tensed, his body coiling, ready to throw himself between them. Because the expression on Sherlock's face was one he'd seen on the face of murderers.


But at the same time, he wasn't truly worried. To kill the man, Sherlock would have to let go of John, and Lestrade knew that wasn't going to happen any time soon.


“That could have been done with a bit more tact, don't you think?” Sherlock's voice was a study in rage, and not the kind of swift temper that blew hot as a furnace and cooled just as quickly. This was the stony, frozen hatred that led people to pay hit-men to kill their sibling or parent or spouse.


“And what would you have suggested?” the official asked, his voice still so placid and completely undisturbed by the revelations he'd made that Lestrade felt a little sick. “That I whisper in his ear and offer to lead him some place quiet where no one would hear of his shame? John Watson is not and will never be a man to be condescended to, no matter what horrors he has endured.”


Lestrade wiped the blood on his fingers on his trousers, suddenly unable to stand the feel of it against his skin.


The sirens reached a crescendo as the ambulance swung around the corner, and Lestrade couldn't help breathing a sigh of relief.



Donovan had never liked Sherlock, never. Not from the first moment she met him, when she was willing to go out on a limb for Lestrade's weird buddy as long as he helped solved the case, but in the middle of her description he announced 'dull' and stalked off.


Donovan had stared after him, horrified. Dull? He thought a murder was 'dull'? That poor man behind her (stabbed twice in the chest) had been someone's son, someone's friend, maybe a father or brother or lover – everyone had someone to miss them. Maybe the police learned to turn their empathy off, to some extent, but there were definitely limits to how far sane, feeling people could detach themselves from it.


Sherlock had crossed those limits so long ago Donovan often wondered if he'd ever seen them in the first place. Sherlock saw people as problems to be solved, as tools, as sources of toys.


How many serial killers had started out that way?


But she could admit that he did help out with their cases, and that there were more than a few criminals in jail who would have gone free without him. So she never overtly protested his presence, let him run around crime scenes like some lunatic just escaped from the madhouse...


And she watched him. Donovan always watched him, waiting for the day when he'd finally snap. She knew it would come, and she planned to be there when it happened.


Calling him freak, aside from being absolutely honest – he was a freak, a dangerous one, and someday, he'd be a murderous one – was Donovan's way of telling Sherlock that she wasn't fooled. He might pull the wool over Lestrade's eyes, but she knew what he was, and what he'd one day become.


Donovan had stuck to her guns through every case Sherlock had investigated, every favour he'd done for the department. Every time Lestrade had reminded her how much good Sherlock did, she wanted to scream at him.


'Have you seen him? He only helps us because it amuses him! What happened when he decides it'll be more amusing to work against us? He'll run rings around us because you've spent years showing him police procedure and how not to get caught!'


Sherlock was a freak, so close to becoming a serial killer Donovan wasn't completely sure he hadn't already tipped over...because he saw people as mildly interesting puzzles to be unravelled, not as fellow human beings. Sherlock Holmes would never actually care about another person in his life.


At least, that was what she'd thought. But now...


One of the things that had made Sherlock seem so inhuman was how utterly blasé he was about his own well-being. He'd been attacked by irate suspects, furious family members; she'd even seen him after surviving a round with a serial killer, and not once had he ever seemed anything other than supremely unconcerned.


But now...watching John being placed on a gurney, clambering into the ambulance with him over Lestrade's protests...for the first time, Sherlock looked like a victim.


For the first time, Sherlock looked human.


That, more than Lestrade's discreet gesture, was what convinced Donovan to board the ambulance alongside him. She'd go along with them to the hospital, and on the way she'd call up a nice, discreet technician to collect the evidence – she was confident no one wanted this going around the precinct. She'd make sure she'd be the one to collect John's statement; after all, she already knew what had happened and it was probably best they limited the number of people in the know as much as possible.


It was only after she'd made the call requesting a technician with a rape kit meet them at the hospital that she dared to look at the man on the gurney. He was stable, only unconscious, which meant the paramedics had largely left him alone after their initial check – the treatment he needed could be done at the hospital.


John's face was still and completely blank, which was enough to unsettle Donovan in and of itself. John was an expressive person – his face was always changing, quirking and twisting to show his every emotion as clearly as if it was being stamped in ink on his forehead. It was one of the reasons she'd tried to dissuade him from associating with Sherlock, knowing that it would be bad for someone who felt as deeply as John.


Donovan supposed she'd been proved right – associating with Sherlock had proven to be very, very bad for John Watson. But she didn't feel triumphant, just sick.


She risked a glance at John's wrists, feeling her stomach twist at the clear lines of blood circling them, the way they still oozed as though determined to bleed for as long as possible. The creepy government official had been right – John's hands looked liked they'd come close to being torn off. Morbidly, Donovan wondered what other injuries were hiding under the blanket that had been pulled to John's chest. She'd seen long stripes of blood on the back of his shirt when the paramedics had removed his jacket, and that alone was enough to suggest torture had been thrown in along with the rape.


With some trepidation, Donovan risked a glance to her right, to where Sherlock was sitting and staring fixedly at the unconscious John.


He was still covered in the white powder, and would have been a sight to laugh at if not for the expression on his face. Donovan had seen an expression similar to that only once before, and never in real life – it had been in a movie, during a scene in which a character was being tortured.


Even so, the comparison wasn't exact. That had been an actor, someone playing a role, and while it had certainly seemed realistic at the time, Donovan knew she'd never believe it again, not after this. Sherlock's face was a thousand times more anguished, a thousand times more visceral, so much so that just looking at him felt like being punched in the gut.


Now, the thought that first came to Sally's mind was not 'that freak', but 'that poor bastard'.


But lurking behind those pale, devastated eyes was the murderous intent she'd always known Sherlock was capable of. The monster that had slumbered inside him was awake now, prowling and hunting and hungry.


All Sally's worst fears about Sherlock were confirmed in that instant. But instead of rousing an urge to handcuff him or get him sent to a mental hospital, it actually reassured her. Because Sally's biggest fear, during this whole awful episode, had been that Sherlock would find Moriarty, but wouldn't tell them. That Sherlock would find the man too interesting, too appealing to his sociopathic sensibilities and so wouldn't arrest him, but would let him go.


Now, she knew she was only half-right. She knew that if Sherlock found Moriarty again, he wouldn't arrest him, not after this...but he wouldn't let him go either.


If Sherlock found Moriarty again, he'd kill him.



Mycroft wasn't accustomed to being wrong. He was even less accustomed to being careless, yet that was the only description for what had happened.


The surveillance on John Watson had been interrupted so professionally that by the time anyone realised something was wrong, it was far too late. Mycroft had been paying closer attention to Sherlock – given the message on the website, he'd known that whatever was about to happen would be highly unpleasant and would likely involve him cleaning up another of his sibling's messes. So he hadn't really given a thought to John Watson after he'd been informed that the doctor had left the apartment. He'd assumed Sherlock was trying to be noble, getting the doctor out of a dangerous he'd dismissed John Watson from the equation.


Wrong. Foolish and careless and wrong.


Then he'd compounded his mistake with another one – two mistakes in the same evening! It was unheard of.


He'd been sure the analgesic dosage had been enough to numb John Watson's pain without entirely putting him out, and had been honestly surprised when the doctor collapsed. Perhaps he'd had some kind of reaction?


It was only when he reached the hospital and acquired a description of John's injuries that Mycroft understood adrenaline had probably been the only thing keeping the doctor on his feet. Mycroft wasn't used to being impressed, but he was rather astounded John had managed to walk while in such a condition, let alone run around taking care of Sherlock and attempting to act normally.


He'd also ensured that John was being treated by a doctor Mycroft both knew and trusted (as much as he could trust anyone), as he wouldn't put it past Moriarty to have John further interfered with in the hospital.


Mycroft had heard whispers of Moriarty, of course he had, but it had never been on his level. The organisation had been implicated in petty crimes only, not something Mycroft bothered with nowadays, and certainly nothing had been said of the sprawling network Sherlock's investigation had implied.


He wanted to talk to Sherlock, to garner more details about the encounter and hopefully a description of the man who called himself Moriarty...but long experience allowed him to recognise when his brother could be reasoned with and when he couldn't. Sherlock might be fit for conversation once Mycroft's doctor had finished stitching up John's injuries, but until he saw his friend, he was going to be absolutely unbearable.


Apparently Lestrade couldn't see that, given the way the inspector was haranguing Mycroft's brother.


Sherlock had finally wiped the powder off his face and attempted to get it out of his hair (only partially successfully, as his dark hair was still sprinkled with white like the faint dusting of snowflakes), and had been forced to change into a hospital-issue cotton tracksuit – his clothes were already on the way to some evidence locker. He'd folded himself into one of the plastic hospital chairs and his eyes were fixed on the door opposite him, the door behind which John was being treated.


In spite of Lestrade's obvious agitation, Sherlock didn't so much as glance at him – all his attention was riveted on the door that stood between him and John Watson.


“You think I didn't see your face?” Lestrade was asking, his question obviously rhetorical as he barged onwards without pausing. “I know I can't imagine what you're going through right now, but if you can't give me that promise I'll have to drag you back to the station until you can.”


“And what promise is that?” Sherlock asked, his voice so condescending it grated.


It was clearly too much for Lestrade, and his voice suddenly rose well beyond what would usually be tolerated in a hospital.


“I need you to promise that you'll do things the legal way! That you'll try to bring Moriarty in rather than just put a bullet in his brain!”


At those words, Sherlock turned his attention to Lestrade for the first time. His eyes were dark and seething, but Mycroft detected nothing but honesty in his voice when he spoke.


“I promise that, upon finding Moriarty, I won't 'put a bullet in his brain',” he quoted, disdain in every syllable.


Lestrade looked suspicious, but evidently decided to content himself with that because he then went down the corridor to make a phone call. Or maybe he just knew that was the best he could get from Sherlock for the foreseeable future.


Sherlock's gaze – once more fixed to the door – didn't waver when Mycroft approached, but then again, Mycroft hadn't really expected it to.


“Your swift acquiescence rather surprised me,” Mycroft said, trying to keep his voice earnest even as he lied.


He'd never seen the point in what was called 'small talk', aside from reassuring people and making them more susceptible to manipulation, more willing to talk about details that they found inconsequential but could upset the balance of Mycroft's calculations. 'Small talk' was a social nicety Mycroft observed only when it benefited him, and only with people who expected it. Of course, this meant he'd never done so with his brother, someone whose grasp on the concept was even worse than his own, and it was a mark of how desperate the situation had become that he was resorting to it now.


But there was something in Sherlock's intent stare that even Mycroft found unnerving. He knew very well why Sherlock had made that promise, and wasn't at all surprised by his brother's reply.


“Don't be dull, Mycroft, I only promised I wouldn't shoot him in the head,” Sherlock snapped, a smile entirely devoid of humour curling his mouth. “A bullet to the head is in essence a swift and painless way to die – I would like to think I could be a little more imaginative than that.”



Sherlock didn't know where his brother was, or where Lestrade or Donovan were, and frankly, he didn't care. John had been given a private room, and Sherlock was sitting in a chair beside the bed. In that moment, that was as much of the world as Sherlock cared about.


John was curled on his side, his body instinctively falling into the foetal position, and he looked distressingly small, though Sherlock didn't quite understand why his mind had attached 'distressingly' to the description. John was a small man – it was a simple fact, so why should tangible proof be so uncomfortable?


Perhaps because John always carried himself with quiet assurance – the kind of confidence that didn't need to be shouted or boasted of – as though he were the largest man in the room, and to see him deprived of that was...unsettling. Even with the pseudo-bomb strapped to him, John had been calm and coherent where the others had openly wept. He'd even grabbed hold of Moriarty when he'd seen a chance, urging Sherlock to run.


To know he'd done so even though the man had raped him produced a strange mixture of repulsion and...something almost like pride.


Almost against his will, Sherlock's eyes flickered over John again, tracing out familiar paths of observation they'd travelled innumerable times beforehand.


Sherlock had watched John Watson the way conservationists watched an endangered species – obsessively and almost compulsively. At first glance, Sherlock could usually see everything he needed to know about a person; their attitudes, their home life, their shortcomings, how they viewed themselves and the world...but not John. John never made any kind of logical sense. He lingered when he should have run away, laughed when others would have been appalled, and showed a kind of relentless loyalty Sherlock hadn't actually thought human beings capable of.


In short, John Watson was completely unprecedented, so it probably should have come as no surprise that Sherlock's response as equally as unexpected.


He'd been attracted to people before, of course, but never as a person. It was always an after-thought from his libido, that they had pleasing lips or a nice arse – it was always an abstract concept, the desire removed from the person themselves because they were inevitably dull and pedestrian.


It was different with John, everything was different with John. The thought of sex with John was appealing because he was John. John, whose hands could grasp a gun as easily and comfortably as a mixing spoon. John, who always made pointed comments about helping him with shopping even when he knew Sherlock never moved. John, who yelled about the experiments in the fridge but never actually removed them.


John, who followed him into danger without the slightest qualm. John, who might not understand him all the time...but accepted him anyway.


For the first time in his life, Sherlock wished he didn't observe quite so much. Because while his observations usually told him what John had eaten and whether he'd faced any particularly difficult patients at the clinic, now they were telling him a very different story. A story Sherlock wasn't sure he actually wanted to know.


Now, he looked at John and saw how he'd fought, how much he'd resisted, and what Moriarty had done to him. He'd had a brief glimpse of John's shirt in the ambulance, of the long, bloodied lines that had soaked into the cloth, clear signs of being flogged with a whip or a belt. He'd also seen a mousy-haired woman he didn't recognise (recently divorced, one young child – a boy) leave with evidence bags, and he'd seen what the clear plastic contained. He'd seen the underwear; cotton, cheap yet comfortable, the plain white colour almost completely obscured by the bloodstains.


Sherlock knew he couldn't begin to imagine what it had been like for John – he had never experienced anything to compare to it, after all – but he did know one thing: John must have been in agony.


Yet in spite of that, he'd worried about Sherlock's welfare instead of his own, he'd gotten both of them out of that situation, and even – misguided as it was – tried to protect Sherlock from the knowledge of what had happened to him.


It was almost inconceivable. Sherlock didn't know what to make of it, didn't know what to think. He didn't even know how he felt about it, only that it was too much; ugly tangles of emotion that lay in his stomach and at the back of his throat like balls of razor wire. He'd always thought people who described emotional pain with physical symptoms were being needlessly dramatic, but he was surprised to find they were right – this actually, physically hurt.


The door opened, and the distinctive sound of Mycroft's footsteps intruded into Sherlock's world.


Sherlock wasn't about to forgive him for what he'd done to John, but he'd forego punching him in the face for now. Maybe when John woke up and could watch...


“The powder is chemically inert and completely harmless to the human body,” Mycroft pronounced.


“Obviously,” Sherlock scoffed. A man who murdered by botox injection and infected eczema cream wouldn't attempt to kill them by so obvious a method.


For a moment, neither of them said anything, both staring at the unconscious blonde in the hospital bed.


“Why didn't I see it?” The words were soft, almost grudging. As much as Sherlock loathed to admit it, Mycroft was his superior in deduction...and he had to know. He had to know why he'd missed something so obvious, he had to know so it would never happen again, had to know so that if John was hurt again Sherlock would see it and would know what to do...


Because he didn't know what to do now. He, Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective who always unravelled the mysteries that baffled the idiots known as the police – he didn't know what to do. There was nothing in his head but horror and sickness and unrelenting, unceasing questions.


'Why did Moriarty do it? Why? He already had my attention – there was no point, no need to take it to this level! Why did he do it? Why couldn't he have done it to someone else?'


He knew John would have frowned at that last question, would have been disappointed, but Sherlock didn't care. He'd gladly take John frowning at him and berating him for his lack of humanity over...this. Besides, it was perfectly true – he wished it had been someone else, anyone else, just not John. Not John.


“I could tell he was trying to distract me.” The words actually seemed to be physical barbs, the way they scraped his throat raw on the way out. “I knew he was in pain, I could see it...why didn't I think? Why didn't I see?”


There was so much self-loathing in those final words he could almost feel them burn his lips like acid. He knew there was no logical basis for the guilt that choked him – he hadn't known Moriarty was going to strike at him in this way and he'd actually tried to protect John, to keep him out of it – but he felt it anyway.


The only reason Moriarty had been interested in John was because of his connection to Sherlock. John had only been raped because he called himself Sherlock's friend. Sherlock was so utterly disgusted at the thought that for a moment he wondered abstractly if he was going to throw up.


He'd have to make a run for the bathroom if he was. John wouldn't want to wake up to a room smelling of vomit.


“You were occupied with other things,” Mycroft said, in as gentle a tone as Sherlock had ever heard from his brother. “And it is always possible your mind purposefully steered you away from that path. It is difficult to think about people we care for being hurt, so you didn't want to believe that Dr. Watson had endured something so...unpalatable.”


Sherlock could hardly credit what he'd just heard. “Unpalatable?


A badly-cooked cake was 'unpalatable'. Raw eggs were 'unpalatable'. Noisy children were 'unpalatable'.


“This is not 'unpalatable'.” Sherlock hardly recognised his own voice – it sounded more like the snarling of a feral dog than human speech. “John has been raped, it's...”


He trailed off, feeling a dim sense of shock as he realised he honestly didn't know how to finish that sentence. There was no word in the English language – indeed, in any language he knew – to describe it.


But now he could at least identify one feeling from the tangled morass – anger. Anger that, at the moment, was directed Mycroft.


“Why didn't you stop it?”


He knew Mycroft would understand exactly what he was talking about. Sherlock wasn't an idiot – he knew he and John were under regular surveillance, so surely Mycroft had been alerted as soon as John was abducted? If Mycroft had known of John's kidnapping, but done nothing...


Sherlock wasn't sure exactly what he'd do, only that it would be painful and lasting.


“The interception was expertly done,” was Mycroft's only reply.


That, more than anything, showed Sherlock Moriarty's true reach. If Mycroft had been completely unaware of John's capture, it implied that at least one of his people was working for Moriarty.


He supposed he should have expected something like that. If he wanted to know an enemy's moves, he would have attempted the same.


But the fury – sitting in his chest like a living creature, one with claws and fangs and a blood-curdling howl – would not be denied. It wanted to blame someone, to punish someone, to tear someone apart...


'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,' the voice of Sherlock's old physics teacher suddenly droned in his head. He wondered if Moriarty had quite anticipated his reaction.


Sherlock had meant the promise he'd given Lestrade. There would be no bullet to the head for Moriarty, no swift and pain-free end. No, when Sherlock found Moriarty (and he would, he would) he was going to do his best to ensure the man felt every second of the long, slow death that awaited him. Sherlock's experiences with criminals ensured he'd seen many and varied methods for inflicting pain, from the crude and brutal to the downright elegant, and he was going to use them all on Moriarty.


He'd start with something small – cigarette burns, perhaps – and gradually work his way up to the truly devastating – removal of limbs and such. Lye might be involved, and certainly fire and electricity would play a part. The difficulty would come in ensuring that no serious nerve damage was inflicted, making certain that Moriarty would feel everything, from the moment Sherlock began until the moment he died.


Every action had an equal and opposite reaction. Moriarty's action had been to rape John.


Sherlock's reaction would be to hunt Moriarty down and torture him to death.



AN: As you can see, Sherlock's still in the 'why did this happen' stage, closely followed by the 'I want to kill the bastard who did this' stage. Obviously, there's a lot more to go, but this seemed a good place to break the chapter.


Again, unbeta-d, so concrit is more than welcome! Especially as I'm playing around with quite a few characters here.


Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Tags: fanfic, reaction, sherlock
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