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The Blind Leading The Blind...

I don't know where the muses take me, I only know that I like it!

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Sherlock Fic - Reaction, Final Part
colourful, hills
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.
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 Homles 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
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven


John was going to break up with Sarah.


He was resolute, and he was determined that it would done by the end of the day. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except that he had to wait until Sarah got off work to talk to her. Three hours, twelve minutes to go...far too much time to think.


They'd only been on a handful of dates and neither of them were particularly emotionally involved – they hadn't even slept together yet – but breaking up with someone always made him feel guilty. Even that time he'd broken up with Matthew, who had been an utter arsehole and completely unsuited for a long-term relationship.


And, of course, thinking about breaking up with Sarah inevitably led to exactly why he'd felt it was necessary. Another thing he didn't want to think about.


He knew he was doing the right thing – he didn't have anything to offer a relationship right now. Just the thought of kissing someone, let alone having sex, was enough to make him feel nauseous, and he was self-aware to enough to know that even purely emotional support would probably be rather beyond him at this point.


Still, John was dreading it. It wasn't so much about Sarah as it was about what the break-up and the necessity of it said about him (and that sounded horribly selfish, but it was true). It was as though ending the relationship was admitting that he was deficient, that even in this small way, Moriarty had won.


He needed something to distract him, and since he was going to have to check how Sherlock's hands were healing, an obvious solution presented itself.


John left the living room – where he'd been channel-surfing and trying not to look at the clock – for the kitchen, where Sherlock was surfing the internet on John's laptop and shooting occasional, impatient glances towards the boiling kettle. John toyed with the idea of asking what he was doing, but decided it was best if he didn't know.


“Sherlock, how are your hands?”


Sherlock glanced at his fingers, still patched with sticking plaster. “Adequate.”


“Do they feel tight? Itchy? Swollen or painful?”


Sherlock's gaze cut to John, his eyes as hard as industrial diamond. “What's wrong?”


Sometimes, it was nice to have a friend he didn't need to bother keeping secrets from. At other times, it was just uncomfortable to have Sherlock know almost everything that went through his brain.


“Just give me your hands, Sherlock.”


“...I'll surrender my hands to your inspection if you tell me what's wrong.”


John sighed and bowed to the inevitable – he just didn't have the energy to fight with Sherlock right now.


“I'm going to break up with Sarah when she gets off work, and I'm trying to get my mind off it.”


“Ah.” Surprisingly, Sherlock offered his hands without further comment.


There wasn't anything John could do. In spite of the hot water, Sherlock had been fortunate enough not to burn himself, and all of the scrapes were shallow and likely didn't even need the plasters John had insisted on applying.


“Should I relocate to my bedroom?” Sherlock asked abruptly.


As usual, John didn't quite follow his thought process. “What?”


“For the...break-up,” Sherlock said, a faint hint of distaste in his voice. “I'm told a measure of privacy is appreciated for such matters.”


John frowned. “I'm not going to break up with her here. I'm walking over to her place.”


Sherlock scowled. “You're not going alone.”


“Excuse me? What happened to 'a measure of privacy is appreciated for such matters'?”


“It's not safe,” Sherlock muttered, his tone unexpectedly vicious and his eyes dropping to the laptop as his scowl deepened.


A shiver skated up John's spine at the implications behind Sherlock's objection. He hadn't even considered the idea that Moriarty might attack him again – he'd got what he wanted after all, so why would he bother? – but now that it had occurred to him, he cursed himself for a bloody idiot for not realising it sooner. Of course Moriarty would still consider him a viable target; he was just the kind of person to kidnap John purely to make Sherlock dance to his tune.


The thought of somehow ending up in Moriarty's clutches had John suppressing the urge to run upstairs and hide under the covers of his bed, like when he was five years old and terrified of the nameless shadows that lived in his cupboard.


Suddenly, the idea of Sherlock accompanying him to Sarah's house seemed quite welcome.


“Just do me a favour and don't listen in.”



If Sarah was honest with herself, she knew this day had been coming. John had been uncomfortable and standoffish whenever she visited him in the hospital, and had always made an excuse to prevent her visiting him when he'd returned to his flat. Some of it might be PTSD – John had clearly been tortured, and god, it made her sick to think about that – but Sarah knew how to spot a man who was about to initiate a break-up.


And if she were truly, painfully honest with herself, she'd been expecting it for much longer than that. She'd seen the way Sherlock acted around John, and more importantly, she'd seen the way John acted around Sherlock.


Sometimes she truly wondered why he'd started dating her in the first place. Did he think Sherlock wasn't interested, or had he convinced himself it wouldn't work out?


Well, whatever the reason, Sarah knew it wouldn't have been out of boredom or a desire to provoke Sherlock's jealousy. John had his faults – being a closeted adrenaline junkie was one of them – but at heart, he was a good man. Something that was becoming all-too rare these days.


That was probably why Sarah had continued seeing him even when some part of her had known it was a lost cause. Because John was honest, and brave, and loyal to his very bones, and was the kind of person who became a doctor because they truly wanted to help people, the sort who always tried to do what was right.


Which was why Sarah knew that soon they'd be having that conversation. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but soon. Because John Watson wasn't the sort of man who broke up with someone over the phone; he'd do it face to face.


So when someone rang her doorbell, she felt absolutely no surprise when it turned out to be John.


“We need to talk,” he said quietly, his expression serious. But his mouth was wrinkled at the corners, as though he was uncomfortable and trying not to show it.


Sarah simply nodded, feeling nothing but acceptance and a dull sense of regret. “I know.”



The fact that Sarah had taken it so well had left John feeling relieved, and then guilty that he felt relieved.


Sherlock had honoured John's condition of not-eavesdropping by taking himself off...somewhere...when they were three houses away, reappearing just as abruptly when it was over.


Jesus, Sherlock!” John yelped when the man seemed to materialise beside him. “How can a man your size move so bloody quietly?”


“You were distracted,” Sherlock replied, sounding close to bitter for no reason John could determine.


Under normal circumstances, John would have tried to puzzle out what had upset Sherlock – with varying degrees of success – but now he was just too exhausted and emotionally drained to bother. He'd been dreading breaking up with Sarah, then he'd been relieved she'd taken it so well, then guilty for being relieved, and now he'd progressed to a strange sense of shame, horribly similar to what he'd felt when he'd stood outside the crisis centre.


He knew he shouldn't feel that way. He and Sarah hadn't really been going anywhere – that it had been more a question of when they would break up rather than if – but ending the relationship now felt like surrendering. Felt like admitting that Moriarty had screwed him up so badly he'd never have a relationship again.


John knew, logically, that wasn't true, that it might take years to recover but that recovery was an option...but right now, he couldn't see it. He thought ruefully that it seemed stupid that a few hours of torment could have traumatised him more than months at war, but perhaps that was because the war – for all its violence and terror – had never been personal.


This...what Moriarty had done...was sickeningly personal.


John shook his head once, sharply, like a dog shaking away water. He wouldn't think about that. Instead, he would focus on the fact that he undoubtedly felt lighter, now that the break-up was over and done with.


He was surprised to realise they were already home – apparently he'd been so absorbed in his thoughts he hadn't even noticed when they'd turned into Baker Street. John gave a small huff of amusement at himself, conceding that it had been a good idea to have Sherlock tag along, if only because he might have walked himself into a bus otherwise.


“You seem...happier,” Sherlock observed quietly when they were back in the flat, the detective in his chair and tapping away at John's laptop again while John tried to scrounge something edible from the fridge.


“Well, it was the right thing to do,” John mused without turning around. “It's not like I could keep her hanging on until I got over it.”


And John wasn't going to think about how impossible it seemed that he'd ever 'get over it'.


Although in the hospital, he'd thought about what happened every second of the day. But now, back home, he'd be caught off-guard and as much as ten minutes would pass without it demanding his attention.


It was similar to what had happened when his parents had died. In the first few days, he used to think about it every moment, and each time it hurt just as much as it had the first time. But eventually he went hours without truly thinking on it, then days. It wasn't as though it had never happened, but that he absorbed it, and it became something that was there but not remarked upon. It changed him, but it didn't marr him forever.


“Besides, Sarah took it pretty well,” John continued. “Seemed a bit relieved, to be honest.”


“Imbecile,” Sherlock muttered, in the kind of soft tone that suggested he'd mostly been talking to himself.


John turned around. “I beg your pardon?”


“Imbecile,” Sherlock repeated. “She's going to give up on you just because it might be a bit of work? As I said, imbecile.”


Sherlock hadn't looked at John – his eyes were still fixed on the laptop screen – but there was a strange intensity to both his face and his voice. As though Sarah accepting the break-up had personally offended him in some manner.


“She's not,” John said, feeling the need to defend his ex-girlfriend; after all, it hadn't been her fault they'd split up. “Look, Sherlock, when you get into a relationship, you expect certain things from your partner, things that I'm not...I'm not in any fit state to provide right now.”


If that last part was a little bitter, John thought he certainly had the right to be.


Sherlock had abandoned the laptop to focus on him completely now, a small line between his eyebrows showing his confusion. “Like what?”


John wondered how he could explain it. Then he wondered why he was even considering explaining it – shouldn't this be the point where, if he was in a conversation with anyone else, he'd declare it none of their business?


“Look, Sherlock, Sarah and I went into this expecting, at its most basic, two things from each other: sex and emotional availability. Now emotional availability I might be able to swing on a good day, but right now, pulling out all my fingernails with pliers holds more appeal than the idea of having sex.”


Sherlock snorted. “So? She'd still have you, wouldn't she? If I was in a relationship with you, I wouldn't let anything so paltry as lack of sex deter me.”


For a moment, John froze, torn between conflicting impulses. On the one hand, the problems that would have inevitably developed had he continued seeing Sarah were hardly 'paltry', and it infuriated him to hear them referred to like that. On the other hand, that came close to being the nicest thing Sherlock had ever said about him.


“That's all well and good to say,” John made himself respond. “But you don't want a relationship with me, so-”


“Patently untrue.”


“...what?It was all John could say.


“You claimed that I did not want a relationship with you, which isn't true,” Sherlock said, a little too calmly for John's peace of mind. “In actual fact, going by the symptoms and the common definition of the state, I'm probably in love with you. Of course, given that this is a new experience for me, that may be a premature conclusion.”


John collapsed into his chair because really, there was nothing else he could do. Actual words were beyond him, and he simply gaped at Sherlock like the police tended to do when the detective made one of his more outlandish deductions.


Sherlock was frowning at him again. “Is this news to you? I didn't think I was particularly subtle.”


“Some of us need things spelled out every now and then,” John said, his voice still flat with shock – it was a lot to take in, and it had been a very emotional day.


“You really had no idea?” Sherlock asked, his head cocked slightly as though he were marvelling at John's obtuseness.


“I had absolutely no bloody clue,” John said honestly, still reeling as he gathered himself to be equally as honest in turn. “If it helps, I...well...me, too.”


He could tell Sherlock understood. For a moment, the furrows in his brow deepened, and John could tell he was going through his memory, re-examining John's every word and action in light of the new information. Then, all at once, his face smoothed out in a particularly self-satisfied smile.


This would usually be the point at which John kissed him. But as that was out of the question, he just remained sitting opposite Sherlock, feeling awkward.


The insane, emotionally-stunted man John was in love with had just told him he felt the same way...so shouldn't he be feeling happier? While joy and contentment were curling through his chest, they were like wisps of smoke rather than the raging bonfire he'd half-expected. He was happy, but...not much. Maybe it was because that, even though he'd been handed exactly what he wanted on a platter, he couldn't yet see the way to ever actually taking it.


“Why couldn't we have had this discussion before?” John asked, half to himself and half to the universe at large.


“...perhaps the timing could have been better,” Sherlock conceded.


“I mean, it won't be sunshine and roses. Shit, Sherlock, do you have any idea how difficult this will be?”


“I'm told I'm difficult all the time,” Sherlock pointed out affably. “Maybe it's your turn.”


John probably should have been angry at the flippant dismissal of what he knew would be a long, hard road to come, but all he felt was a dim sense of amusement.


But still, he felt compelled to ask, “What happens if I don't get better?”


Sherlock shrugged. “Then we'll continue on as we have been.”


John snorted, thinking it typical of Sherlock that, having made up his mind to hold onto something, he wouldn't let go of it for anything. “You don't do anything by halves or – god forbid – normally, do you?”


“Normal is boring. Besides, you will get better.”


“Just like that? You just know that I'm going to get better?” John said, the scepticism heavy in his voice.


“Of course.”


John knew his look would be politely described as 'disbelieving'.


“Oh, all right then,” Sherlock said, rolling his eyes. “Be like the police and don't believe me without solid proof. It's tiresome, but eventually you'll realise I was right.”


Looking at Sherlock in front of him, all pale skin and dark hair and sharp angles and completely, arrogantly confident that he was right, John could almost believe it. It was as though if Sherlock said he was going to recover, then that made it true.


John realised that was probably a bit of a warped view of the world, and it was that more than anything that prompted him to laugh.


The sound of it surprised him. It wasn't bitter or choked off or strained as all his laughs had been since he awoke in the hospital. It came from deep in his belly and sent his ribs into spasms so rapid he could barely draw breath between them.


It was exactly the way he'd laughed before he'd even known Moriarty's name. It felt rich and warm and above all, real.


John allowed himself to think that maybe, just maybe, Sherlock was right.



Sherlock had made himself scarce when they approached Sarah's house, and hadn't even given in to the temptation to peek in a window. Probably for the best, really; he certainly didn't want to see or overhear Sarah dissolving into tears when John explained why he'd come over.


And he had no doubt she would be crying at some point. After all, John was walking out of her life, what sane person wouldn't be upset? If John had tried to leave their flat, to leave Sherlock after something like this, Sherlock knew he would have done anything and everything he could to make John stay.


In the end, the visit didn't take nearly as long as Sherlock had anticipated, but John was so distracted when he left that Sherlock was right beside him before the doctor noticed his presence. John was largely silent all the way home, and it was only when they were actually inside the flat that he seemed to come back to himself somewhat. He seemed happier, unburdened almost, and while it was certainly pleasing, Sherlock couldn't help but wonder exactly why. He'd been exceedingly reluctant to end his relationship with Sarah, so why did he seem so relaxed now? Shouldn't he be angry, regretful, depressed or some combination of the three?


So Sherlock did what he usually did when he was puzzled about John – he asked. With anyone else, he'd simply try to deduce it; most people prevaricated to extraordinary degrees when faced with questions about their emotional state. But with John, Sherlock was guaranteed an honest answer, guaranteed that he'd at least try to explain it.


“It was the right thing to do,” came John's voice from the kitchen. “It's not like I could keep her hanging on until I got over it. Besides, Sarah took it pretty well. Seemed a bit relieved, to be honest.”


Relieved? Sarah was relieved that John ended their relationship? Why? She wasn't a closeted lesbian, didn't seem to be hiding any shameful secrets that John was on the verge of discovering...


“Imbecile,” he stated. It was the only conclusion.


But apparently that confused John, and Sherlock had to elaborate; if Sarah didn't actually want a relationship with John, then clearly she was a monumental idiot. John, however, seemed to take Sherlock's perfectly reasonable conclusion as a signal to launch into a superfluous explanation.


John seemed to think he would be incapable of providing what Sarah needed, which Sherlock found frankly ridiculous. So Sarah would have to go without sex for a while, so John would have some emotional problems – she still would have had John. In Sherlock's opinion, that more than outweighed any problems. If it had been him John was in a relationship with, he wouldn't have accepted any of those excuses. If, in that hypothetical relationship, John had ever considered breaking up with him simply because he thought it was for Sherlock's own good or that it would spare him pain, Sherlock would have swiftly disabused him of the notion.


But then again, Sherlock suspected he was in love with John, and he supposed it was possible Sarah wasn't as attached.


He made his opinions known, and was honestly taken aback at John's surprise. He'd always believed John was aware of his affection (Sherlock had hardly been discreet), but was simply politely ignoring it because he didn't feel the same way. He'd known John was sexually attracted to him, but there was a large gulf between physical attraction and actually desiring a sexual relationship with someone, and Sherlock had always assumed John felt nothing beyond friendship for him. And even if it was an unusually loyal and patient friendship...well, that was simply John's nature.


John was looking rather dazed. “I had absolutely no bloody clue.”


There was a slight pause, and John seemed to be struggling with something. For a moment, Sherlock was worried that this new knowledge would make John uneasy. It was ridiculous, as they'd managed to get along perfectly well for quite some time, and his knowledge of Sherlock's feelings wouldn't actually change anything, but most people were funny about things like that.


“If it helps, I...well...me, too.”


For a moment, Sherlock was certain he'd misunderstood. John couldn't be referring to...but yes, he was looking ever so slightly flustered but still as earnest as ever – he was telling the absolute truth.


John was in love with him.


Sherlock dissected that thought. If John was in love with him, why had he been dating Sarah? Except he'd been unaware that Sherlock reciprocated, as evidenced by his surprise earlier, so taking that into account...


Sherlock reviewed his interactions with John over the past few weeks, incorporating the new variable of John's feelings for him, and felt a slow smile begin to pull at his cheeks.


John loved him.


Sherlock had a sudden impulse to go to John's chair, bend over him, and finally determine what kissing John was actually like. But he quelled the desire almost as soon as it formed; John wouldn't welcome such a gesture, not now.


“Why couldn't we have had this discussion before?” John sighed, and Sherlock had to admit to a vague, frustrated sense of regret.


“...perhaps the timing could have been better,” was all he said.


“I mean, it won't be sunshine and roses,” John went on, beginning to look distressed. “Shit, Sherlock, do you have any idea how difficult this will be?”


Sherlock had a conceptual expectation, but he knew it was probably nowhere near the reality. So he settled for pointing out the obvious – that he was difficult as well – in the hopes that John might understand that on occasion, some things were worth the complications.


“What happens if I don't get better?” John suddenly asked, and Sherlock heard the vulnerability in his voice. However much John might like to pretend otherwise, this was a concept that truly frightened him.


But Sherlock had never been much good at platitudes or comfort, so he settled for the truth. “Then we'll continue on as we have been.”


And he meant it. Sherlock supposed it was conceivable that there might be someone else in the world like John, but he thought it highly unlikely. There was little factual basis for his conclusion but something told him that what he'd found with John, he wouldn't find with anyone else.


John prattled something about normality, but it couldn't disguise the fact that he was still worried.


“Just like that? You just know that I'm going to get better?”


“Of course.” Sherlock would have thought it self-evident, but John still looked sceptical.


Sherlock gave in to the urge to roll his eyes. “Oh, all right then. Be like the police and don't believe me without solid proof. It's tiresome, but eventually you'll realise I was right.”


It was true that he was wrong on occasion – John's sister sprang to mind – but Sherlock knew he was right about this. John would emerge from this ordeal different, yes, but certainly not broken. While Sherlock would have liked to think it was because John was not alone, he knew that was pure narcissism on his part; John would have survived regardless, because of his own will and his own strength.


John blinked at him, as though startled by the assurance in Sherlock's voice, then quite suddenly burst into laughter.


It wasn't scraped or broken-sounding – John wasn't laughing to hide his own pain or in an effort to reassure Sherlock. It was an honest laugh, deep in tone and slightly wheezing, sounding almost as though he were out of breath. The kind of laugh John had frequently given in to before Sherlock had received the pink phone.


In spite of the fact that Sherlock had no idea what had amused John so, he found himself smiling.


It was a start.





AN: And that's it! I know some people will be disappointed at my ending it here, but this felt like the right place to bring this story to a close. Enough to imply that there's still a lot of darkness to go, but that John and Sherlock will get through it together.


And thanks so much to ginbitch, who beta-d so many chapters of this story and helped me improve it!


I apologize ahead of time for the length of this. My thoughts and feelings got away from me.

I have this odd and somewhat horrific tendency to, when I find a rape fic, read everything I have up in tabs and do all of my work and immediate projects before focusing all of my time and energy exclusively on that fic. I found this gem about a week ago, but the amount of material and homework I until tonight made me leave this until now.

See, somehow I find rape fics (and when I say rape fic, it encompasses so much more than just the fact that there's rape in it) everywhere I look for fiction and then feel utterly compelled to read them...and then read them again later. And again. Rape fics are pretty much the only fics I will read repeatedly.

While I have psychoanalyzed the crap out of this sick fascination I seem to have, I'm sure you don't actually want to read why I do it. As it is, I only half understand myself; take from that what you will because I refuse to elaborate. I don't have a rape kink. I severely dislike noncon or heavy BSDM/torture in stories; violence is a genre I read frequently, but violence during sex turns me off.

*sigh* All of that above has a purpose, I promise.

The main reason I can find behind why I read and reread rape fics (the one that has a connection to you) is because a well-written rape fic actually shows how the situation works.

They show the trauma - emotional, physical, mental, and even spiritual - that a person goes through when they are raped. How deeply it can settle into a person when they are raped repeatedly over the course of a few hours to a few years. The personal anguish behind what happens, especially when it's someone they trust with their life.

They show the denial, frustration, and anger in both the victim and those close to them. The helplessness that the victim feels in their inability to get over something that might not have even left any physical bruises or scars. The helplessness of the people close to the victim, wanting to comfort them - to hug and kiss and cuddle them until the memories and pain are forgotten - but knowing that any reference to the victim's supposed weakness will only end in lashing out and tears and disgust and self-revulsion.

They show the pain, vulnerability, and shame that the victim feels in regular intervals before they are able to accept the situation and move on. And rape is something that people have to accept and learn to live with, possibly never truly recover from, no matter how horrible and callous that may sound.

Reaction was perfect. And of all the rape fics I have read, yours has moved me in ways that I haven't experienced before in relation to noncon of any kind. I can't really explain what I mean because I can't explain it to myself, but I somehow feel different. Maybe I'll come back and enlighten you. Who knows, really?

The way you portrayed John throughout both the ordeal and the subsequent week(s) were exactly how someone like John would have reacted. Sherlock, because of the feelings you show him already having for John, also reacted in precisely the right way. You know what you wrote; I don't need to really elaborate because I know that you know exactly what I'm talking about.

You wrote the rape scene very elegantly, telling us what happened without actually spelling anything out. I'm very much glad you did. It's not that I'm against reading a rape scene (If anything, I read rape with much more ease and less embarrassment that I do porn because I'm able to read it from a clinical and analytical perspective. It's traumatic and horrifying and not at all sexy, even if the people involved are having some twisted form of sex); it just seems to me that you realized that the story didn't need you to go into gruesome detail. What you gave us was all we needed to visualize the damage. For this, I applaud you.

Your writing style was neat and well-paced. Any spelling/grammatical/writing errors that may have slipped through were insignificant enough that I was able to ignore them. The timing throughout was perfect.

I would've loved for Sherlock find and destroy Moriarty. I also would've loved for John to fully recover and get on with his new exciting role as Sherlock's lover. I do, however, understand why you stopped where you did; we know that everything's going to be fine. We can go find a short 500 word drabble with all the fluffiness that would've come eventually had you continued.

You picked a fantastic stopping point. I fear I may have missed mine somewhere up in this monstrosity of a comment. Looking over it, however, there's really nothing I'm compelled to remove. So, out of all of that above, take this:

I bow to your greatness, Sensei. May I, one day, learn to be as fantastical and story-minded as you happen to be.

Love how you took a very difficult subject and made a very good, true to character story out of it.


This is a stupendous piece of fiction. Beautifully conceived and your depictions of the characters are utterly perfect. I particularly liked the Donovan and Lestrade POV moments-- they really enriched the story.

So many passages were haunting and beautiful and understated, I can't begin to list them.

I think this is a beautiful place for the story to end, but it doesn't stop me from wanting more! I want fanfiction for this story-- a continuation of John's healing and their developing relationship. :-)

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

Thanks! I wanted to keep the focus on Sherlock and John, but not forget about the other characters.

The ending was just exactly what I'd imagined to be the perfect one for this story at that point. That was actually what I really liked about it - nothing had been treated haft-heartedly, nothing had been exaggerated. You wrote this whole piece in such a calm, minute and charming style. I specially loved the way you had described each character's feelings and (re)actions in that clear, reasonable way. I spent the whole afternoon having myself obsessed with the dark and painful, yet irresistible feelings the story had given me; and that was quite an overwhelming pleasure to see a satisfying ending.

Thank you for writing this! *hugs and kissed*

Thanks! I wanted to show that while this might not be *the* happy ending, that happy ending is going to be there eventually...

I have to confess that when I'm reading a fic I really, really like, I always start to fret a bit when I start the last chapter because I always fear that the ending won't live up to the rest of the story (sadly, it happens often).
Thankfully, it wasn't the case at all with yours. I was glad that you stopped when you did. What I feared was that they wouldn't reveal their feelings for each other so for me, it ended just perfectly :o)

I liked the POV changes. This way you could write how Sherlock sees John: as unpredictable and how he's never bored with him because he doesn't react as expected. I'd never quite thought about this but now I think that it's probably one of the reasons Sherlock keeps John around.
This reminded me of that scene in "A Study in Pink" between Mycroft and John when Mycroft remarks on the lack of tremor in John's hand. I always liked that moment because it pointed out to us that despite the fact that John seems like a regular bloke, he really isn't.

I liked how the different POVs enabled you to write each man's feelings for the other. Liked how you kept Sherlock in character about this: unlike John, he doesn't realise what it is exactly he feels for John until much, much later, as he would deduce something to do with a crime. He just doesn't have any reference for this, I guess :o)
Loved how you wrote the way he reveals his feelings for John. He thinks John is better at feelings and emotions than him so of course he thought John knew, lol. Again, very much in character.

Loved it how you conveyed that neither Sherlock or John are "ordinary" and that's why they are somehow perfect for each other.

Loved how you were able to keep Sherlock in character while putting him through various emotional states, even crying. That crying bit was perfectly done, IMO.

As for the whole rape scene and brave John desperately trying to hide this from Sherlock so Moriarty couldn't get to him... mind blowingly well written.

Thanks! And I agree that some part of Sherlock sees John as just very weird and thus, endlessly fascinating.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. There is nothing I can say that another commenter hasn't already (more eloquently expressed and in much more detail at that), but I needed to at laest try to communicate how deeply this story touched me--the sensitivity and empathy you showed in your writing was incredible, and your insight into each character was truly astounding. Every interaction took my breath away, because I could see it happen--none of the way I sometimes have trouble reconciling or assimilating my ideas and impressions of the characters with the author's. I loved this story, painful and tender and raw and lovely as it is: the ways in which Sherlock and John take care of each other, trying to move past the enormity of what's happened together into a brighter future, the way Sherlock's exoskeleton of unflappable, alien aloofness is cracked and others around him begin to realize how human he still is, how he cares for John, John's unbelievable strength and Donovan's surprising compassion and understanding... even the horrific, revolting cruelty of Moriarty's calculated torture was fascinating in its own way, drawing me in against my own volition--unable to look away from an inescapably, fundamentally agonizing vision. The ending, too, while disappointing in that the reader doesn't ever get a glimpse of the "happily ever after", when they've finally made it through to the other side the stronger for the ordeal, when John can finally fully accept himself again and accompany Sherlock through the twists and turns of London's worst, we're made to understand that it isn't that simple, that it will take years and it will be difficult because that's just the way it is, but it's okay, because this is natural and this is real and one day they'll find the happiness they deserve. ♥ Sorry to ramble, but this soothed something in me that I'd had no idea I'd been needing, and I wanted to somehow communicate how amazing I think you are and how much I was enraptured by this fic.

Thanks! I wanted to imply that while this might not be *the* happy ending, so to speak, that said happy ending will be there eventually...


Gosh! I stayed up a wholenight to read this fic. I am utterly tired... I LOVED it, ecven if there was too much angst for me. Seriously, usually I can't stand stories that involve rqpe. Nonetheless, I knew there was it in this story and read all the same so, I cannlt blame anyone but me. Well, that said, and withe the fact I will stick with just fluffy romantic soap fic, I truelly enjoyed the fic, it made me go through a various shade of feeling and made me totally forget my surrounding (this f****** bird that forbid me sleep too).
I really love the end too. BUT! I really crave a sequel. Like *really*. I mean. WHERE DID OUR LITTLE MORIARTY'S SEQUENCE OF TORTURE ( physicall AND mental, let it be entire XD) GO, FOR GOD'S SAKE?! I really beleived it would help John to feel better if he participated in the vengeance. And since he could bear Sherlock's touch all along the story, I was inclined to beleive they would physically comfort each other. And i was pretty sure both of them would feel a bit cleaned by the skin of the other... Sequell? Pretty please?

Well, I say that but that doesn t mean I m desatisfied by this fic, at the contrary! I thnik I made it clear that I think it is a fine work of art. But still, their is a tast of unfinished thing ( why call Mycroft if we won'r have Moriarty found? Oo?)... Sequel? ( I'm obsessive girl...--")

So, hope I wasn't too rude. If I indeed was, please excuse it and make it the fault of te fact my first idiome isn't english...^^ again, thank you for creating this fic and make it good all the way to the end!;)

Thanks! And I don't think there'll be a sequel for this story - it feels finished to me, you know?

This story is absolutely amazing. I actually woke up 3 hours into an 8 hour sleep just to finish reading the last part.

Wow, that was really amazing!! I absolutely loved Sherlocks reaction at the hospital and him staying with John the whole time.

Thank you ♥

I keep coming back to this fic because it perfectly balances my desire for hurt with oodles of comfort. Most angsty fics go too far in either direction.

What a brilliant story!!

I first read this when it was on fanfiction.net and had been thinking about it just recently. I couldn't remember what it was called or who wrote it - but I remembered the plot so vividly that I could still see it running like a film in my head. I did a google search and there you were! I'm so glad that I got the chance to read this again!

Re: What a brilliant story!!


This was an absolutely wonderful story. We sadly didn't get to see Sherlock at least punch Moriarty, but we can imagine. :D

I also feel the need to comment on your characterization of Moriarty. He isn't just some fruity villain like in most fanfics (even in other stories where he rapes john), he's an out right bastard in all sense of the word and meaning. He's exatcly...what I would expect of BBC's version of Moriarty. A complete dick who enjoys fucking with Sherlock and those around him as another means to fuck with Sherlock. Gleefully so.

Does that make any sense? I don't know. I'm haven't slept at all.

Thanks! And I know exactly what you mean - I don't exactly see Moriarty as gay, because simply I can't see him viewing sex as anything other than another tool in his arsenal. He'll seduce if he decides the plan needs it, he'll rape when he wants to prove a point...at no point does actual desire come into it.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean-I just-the feels-can't think-that confession of love made my heart sing and just...wow. Brava, and yes, a bit annoyed that it ended there, but what can you do? It was actually a more optimistic and hopeful ending that I'd have imagined and just lovely and awesome and again, I'm running out of complementary adjectives.

I don't usually leave comments, but I just had to this time.

I don't think I've ever read something quite like this. It's just amazing. The characters are depicted in such a deep, realistic way, the whole rape issue being addressed as it should - not in a black, dark, wrong way, too full of details and violence - but with the due emotions, respect and deep, human pain and sympathy. The right kind of sympathy, the one that makes you a part of it all.
.. I'm at loss for words: how the story unfolded perfectly, how wonderfully in character everyone was, how masterfully written the story is, from all the points of view that were chosen from time to time.
I'm afraid to say I've always wanted to read a story that dealt with John getting hurt (however you want to intend that), but trying to get through with his usual military, John Watson-y "badassness", leaving Sherlock to deal with unexpected and unwanted emotional baggage.. But this exceeded any expectation or fantasy I've had in the past. Ever.
Even though I was disappointed at first when I read the final lines, discovering that the fic was over - I now understand your choice. It's the right thing to do - not wanting to go in too deep, not when writing or talking about these kinds of traumas. Leave it to the imagination of the readers to figure out what happens next, how their relationship evolves, and just how much Sherlock will have Moriarty endure before he kills him with blinding rage and vengeance.
As I've written before - I am at loss for words. I can't but ask you to continue writing, because this is too good to keep it to yourself. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Re: I don't usually leave comments, but I just had to this time.

Thanks! I wanted the focus to be less on the rape itself than the aftermath. And as you said, I wanted to really emphasize John's stoicness, the way he always seem to tell himself to just shake it off and keep going. Obviously not very realistic in this situation, but it didn't stop him trying.

Wow this was great! It's such a well-written, moving story. I think you ended it appropriately--hopeful, but not too sunny. You really have their personalities down well too. Good job :)