Title: Paying Back

Author: Dayja

Summary: Some men do not appreciate Sherlock's handling of their cases. They decide to pay him back. Written in response to a kink prompt which I cannot find again despite scouring the prompts pages for at least half an hour.

Pairings: May be John/Sherlock. More likely to include vague references to a relationship that could simply refer to strong friendship than to have a sex scene thrown in. I make no promises either way.

Warnings: Graphic Violence. Probably no sex, but I make no promises. Work-in-Progress. I get a lot of ideas at once and for some reason feel the need to fill them all. At once. This doesn't always work very well when it comes to updating and completing things.

Genre: Hurt/comfort, mostly hurt in this particularly chapter.

Spoilers: Sherlock series one. Except so far nothing explicit from the show, unless you consider it a spoiler that there is a man named Sherlock who solves cases and sometimes annoys the police, or that he has a flatmate named John. In which case, you are clearly very lost to be reading this at all.

Disclaimer: I own nothing/am not associated with Sherlock. I make no money from this.


They were stupid. They were stupid and they wouldn't win because in the end they were going to get caught, and punished, and in the long run they would hurt much worse than what they were doing to him.

Sherlock tried to keep that in mind as the fists repeatedly slammed into his chest, his stomach, his back, and if he could just move-think-fight-breathe, he could get away, and tell and they would never be policemen again. He would tell, even if it was embarrassing, no matter that it was five to one, because Sherlock was good at fighting, was better, smarter, even bigger than three of them, well, taller anyway. But he still hadn't understood at first, and then they had his arms and there was no room to swing, to kick, and the fist in his gut stole his breath and he couldn't say anything, not to scream, not to make them stop, not to cry because it hurt.

This wasn't supposed to happen. They were drunk, Sherlock knew that at once; not drunk enough to impair their coordination too much but just buzzed enough to lose some inhibitions, to think this was a good idea when they stumbled upon Sherlock by chance. To pay back the freak. Sherlock saw them, of course he did, he could quite likely have stated who had what to drink and how much. He noticed them but he didn't really care, not even when the first one had called out, "Hey, Freak!" Sherlock ignored that, and all that came after, the gist of which implied a rude and unlikely situation between himself, John, and some cadavers. What did Sherlock care what a bunch of drunken simple-minded throwbacks thought of him? In hind sight, perhaps he shouldn't have said that to them out loud.

They had surrounded him, egging each other on until they had herded Sherlock down an alley that was dark and rough and smelled of stale sickness, piss, and something rotting. Sherlock hadn't been scared so much as annoyed. They were ignorant and stupid and clumsy, and he couldn't quite believe that they were quite so stupid as to escalate things to such a degree. In the end, Sherlock had to admit that even he was prone to certain ingrained ideas which could skew one's perspective. Even his. The real difficulty was that these men were, while still stupid and unpleasant, policemen and as such were the Good Guys. And Good Guys did not go around beating up someone who was…if not Good, then at least on their side. It made no sense. Sherlock did what they could not, what they were too slow and stupid and narrow-minded to do. And maybe their blindness frustrated him, and his own brilliance and love of the theatrical made him rub it in their faces from time to time…well even so.

But here in the dark, where it was five to one, and they were just drunk enough to not remember the consequences this would bring, they decided he could pay, the freak who always showed them up and got into their business and acted like Lestrade's special pet when he wasn't even one of them. Here they were powerful, and at first it was just words, jeers, name-calling, infantile and unoriginal, and not true. John was not his friend for sex, he most certainly didn't suck up to Lestrade, and his parents had been married thank you very much. Sherlock should have ignored them, truly ignored them, turned away before they could surround him and move in too too close, shoving, touching, and lying.

And when he started to struggle, to get away because he didn't like the alley and they were too close, and his heart was starting to beat faster, and he wanted John, because John would know their words weren't true, because John was good at fighting, very good, and then it would be two to five and Sherlock would be able to move. They didn't let him get away, though.

They shoved him and laughed, and held his arms, and kept saying vicious lies. Telling him he should leave the police work to real policemen, real men, who did he have to suck to get in with Lestrade, psychopath, freak, robot, where's your lapdog? Cocksucker, psychopath, cold emotionless freak, all alone are you? Where's your friend? He doesn't have any, cold bastard, not unless he lets 'em do him up the arse, did you, Freak? Does your lapdog do you up the arse? Is he with his real friends now? Gonna cry, Freak? Look at the freak, crying for mummy!

Sherlock wasn't crying, he was angry, his heart beat so fast because they were lying and he was angry and they wouldn't let him leave, and he swung his fist, not even at one of them, just to get away. His fist connected a couple of times, hitting someone's arm, his elbow jabbing into someone's ribs, and then they were fighting back. Cheering each other on, saying it's his fault, a lesson, to show him.

They were stupid and clumsy and he should have been able to take them, to beat them, if only he could move, if only he could breathe, but by the time his genius mind came to the conclusion that he was in over his head, that there was a clear danger here, that he should get away, it was too late. A fist slammed viciously into his stomach, arms, chest, back, knees catching him inadvertently on his legs, groin, bottom. He couldn't fight, couldn't shout, couldn't make them stop. There was pain, deep and blossoming and sharp and everything was coming all at once from everywhere and they wouldn't stop, not when they made him whimper or gasp, not when he tried to tell them but couldn't say a word, not when he tried to kick or hit or simply let himself fall because there were bodies all around and no room and someone held him, held his fists, held him up into the rain of fists and pain and heat and too much of everything.

They let him fall in the end, to the hard rough ground, gagging on the smells of the alley, vomiting over their shoes. They were like giants over him, tall and solid and laughing and jeering, and the words weren't true, and then they kicked him. There was too much in the world for a while, too much pain, too much movement, too much to process, and so for a short while the world simply went away. Sherlock wasn't passed out, but he wasn't fighting back, anymore than trying to curl in on oneself could be fighting back. He heard their final words, warnings and threats and reminding him to 'stay away'. He didn't respond, didn't move, just waited for it to stop.

When the world came back, his sense of time felt displaced. It might have been five minutes since he had been left alone. It might have been five hours. He hurt, all over.

He had gotten in rough fights before. His self appointed job lent itself towards violent encounters. So this should be no different than the occasions where someone got some good jabs in. He had had bones broken before, nearly been strangled to death, had people come at him with knives and guns and blunt objects. This…this was more akin to schoolyard bullies getting the jump on him. So he should get up, limp home, wash away the blood. He should report them, get them arrested for assault. A part of him even considered running to his big brother; that would ensure justice would be served. Most of him wanted John.

Except he didn't want anyone to see him or know. It was humiliating that it happened, and they would see how weak he was, and he knew some of them would say it was his fault. And he didn't care what they thought, what any of them thought, and of course someone had to know or they wouldn't get in trouble. But he couldn't just stay lying, whimpering in an alley.

He couldn't stay, but he couldn't move. It hurt, everything hurt, and he was weak and stupid to not just grit his teeth and move through it, he knew he could move if he tried. Surely those overgrown ignorant apes hadn't beaten him worse than the average criminal who had gotten the best of him; if he could be up and running after nearly being strangled to death, after broken ribs or on one memorable occasion a deep gash on his arm, then some rough treatment by uncouth thugs surely wasn't enough to leave him helpless and useless, lying on the ground.

So he did move, just a little bit, and those whimpers were not him, and perhaps there was something broken inside him because this hurt hurt hurt hurt….

He meant to call John. Or Lestrade. Or even Mycroft, because as humiliating as that would be, Mycroft was still his big brother, and it was an almost instinctive response to run to his brother and tell him about the bullies who beat him up and watch them pay. He meant to move, to drag himself out of the alley and back into the light. And he didn't pass out, he didn't think, but the world was a bit fuzzy and he could not begin to understand where the stranger had suddenly come from, leaning over him and asking if he was alright.

More people appeared after that. Time was all skewed and weird, and somehow he hadn't called John, and John still wasn't there, and he was still in the alley when people told him they were there to help and wanted him to answer. He might have told them his name was John Watson, before the world went away once more.

He had a distinct memory of waking up later, dead tired and noticing he was moving but not being able to wake up enough to even care. He fell back into the void.