It was the fourth day, and he didn't want to eat it.
But it was the fourth day, and because he was on a case, he hadn't eaten in more than five.
They could have put anything in the food, a sedative, some sort of toxin, drugs, anything.
But it was the fourth day and he hadn't eaten in more than five, and despite what John thought sometimes, he couldn't survive on air alone.
So he ate it.
He didn't pass out and he didn't die and he didn't get high, so there was nothing immediately life threatening in the food.
Still, he didn't eat again until the seventh day.
Nothing happened after he ate that.
The food was awful, which was to be expected, since he was kind of being held as a prisoner.
He had the same issues with the water, but he couldn't last long without water, so he'd been drinking it from day 2.
Whoever had taken him didn't seem to want much. They'd only beaten him the once, on the sixth day when he took to yelling.
It was only the two men who'd taken him, and Sherlock couldn't find any motive for them doing so. Neither of them had been arrested before, so it wasn't out of revenge. He didn't think they were holding him for ransom, since that should have been over quickly. They didn't torture him for information or threaten people to get him to do things.
Simply put, Sherlock was at a loss.
It hadn't been a very complicated takedown, with a lot of room for error. They'd pulled him into an alley on his way home and drugged him while he fought them off. There was only so much one man could do. The element of surprise was a big factor, and the drugs certainly worked against him.
He awoke in a small room that was barren of almost everything except for a thin mattress and a bucket.
They brought him food and water twice a day, and didn't speak to him. Sherlock didn't even see their faces since they wore masks.
And then were clever enough, or perhaps just lucky, to not provide him with anything he'd been for an escape. The mattress held no springs, he was not given cutlery, and his clothes were searched and items removed.
He was stuck.
So he ate the food and drank the water and was completely and utterly bored.
He ate on the fourth day and the seventh day and the ninth day and the tenth day.
It was the eleventh day when he started to realize something was wrong.
His muscles began to ache, which was unusual, since he hadn't been doing heavy activity or anything else to hurt them. He'd been drinking enough water, so it wasn't dehydration. His head ached and his mind was foggy, both concerning, since his mind was everything. His legs had pins and needles and no amount of rubbing or shifting positions would relieve the sensation. The terrible food left a bad taste in his mouth. He was lightheaded and his pulse was fast and he felt like crap and didn't know what to do.
So he did the only thing he could. He drank more water and fell asleep on the thin mattress in the corner and dreamed that John and Lestrade and maybe even Mycroft would find him.
He faded in and out after that, losing track of the days and if he ate or not. He didn't think he ate, since he wasn't at all hungry, which he knew wasn't normal, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
He drank water and slept and dreamed of being rescued.
He wasn't sure if he was rescued, or if it was a dream.