What are you doing to me, John?

They had a fight because of the bloody solar system and John left. He has just left, most probably gone to Sarah's, and Sherlock is alone in their flat, lying on the couch, still facing the wall.

And everything aches because the strings cannot really stretch, they just pull, the furthest John is away, the more they pull, the more it aches.

No, that is not true. If John would be in Sri Lanka, it could hurt less. If John were in Sri Lanka alone.

But John is at Sarah's.

John lying on Sarah, cupping her breasts with his strong, calloused hands, making Sarah moan his name.

John's head between Sarah's legs, obscene noises filling the dark, damp room, Sarah screaming with bittersweet pleasure.

John's cock, shoved fully into Sarah, filling her up, making him and her pant and shudder with anticipation.

Sherlock runs into his bathroom and vomits.

He is overreacting. Something like that has never happened to him before. The strings change his emotional into physical pain.

Cold sweat is all over his body and the craving for the needle is overwhelming.

But every time he considers making the pain stop he sees John's disappointed face.

You deny me even that.

What are you doing to me, John?

He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, stands up and looks into the mirror.

His eyes are blazing feverishly, they have the colour of pearls. He is deadly pale but has two deep pink spots under each of his cheekbones.

Sherlock supports himself on the sink, takes himself in hand, and wonders if he looked like that if...

John slowly unbottons his shirt and lets his hands slowly stroke over Sherlock's pale chest. Sherlock throws his head back, there is a noise from deep down in his throat. John seems to like that because suddenly, there is a warm pair of lips on Sherlock's collarbones, on his neck, on his throat.

"Aah." Sherlock wraps a leg around John's waist and pulls him down onto him. The friction in his trousers becomes unbearable, so he puts his hand between their bodies and unzips his fly. John mimicks his actions and pulls both of their trousers down.

"...where?", John pants. Sherlock gesticulates towards the drawer next to his bed and John stands up, looking for lube and condoms.

Sherlock's hips jerk up and he grimaces at the sudden loss of friction.

"I need you, John."

John is so close and the strings still hurt so much. But it is a good pain. He wants more.

He removes his boxers as fast as possible and when John comes back, he is stark naked, too.

"Oh Sherlock", he moans and suddenly John is all over him again, attacking him with his mouth, kneeling besides Sherlock's hips. Sherlock grabs John on his waist, slides his hands by his hips and places John where he wants him.

John gasps when his buttocks touch Sherlock's oh so hard cock. He watches, no, he stares at Sherlock, Sherlock's face, Sherlock's predatory grin, Sherlock's lips, oh, he worships Sherlock like Sherlock worships him and isn't that nice, because that would mean that Sherlock isn't weak or weaker than John, but they're both weak and strong and John is mine John is mine this is my John and no one else's and he will obey me and John obeys when Sherlock commands: "Ride me."

Sherlock manages to catch most of his come. He washes his hands and looks at his now even more uncomposed features in the mirror, his feverish grin deflates when he comes back to reality and he feels again a sickening wave of self-loathing.

Everything hurts. The strings are pulling and his stomach rumbles.

So when he enters the living room again and is knocked down by a sudden explosion, the last thought he can think before losing consciousness is how nice it would be to feel nothing.

Suddenly there is something new. The Great Game is a beautiful distraction. He does not have to feel while playing it and John is worried about him, so he follows him everywhere and does not go back to her. The strings stop aching that much and Sherlock is almost happy. He does not have time to fantasize, he does not have time to be jealous, he does not even have a reason to be - John is with him, John is helping him, everything is the game and John John John. This is how life should be. Work and John, hand in hand.

But Sherlock should have known better.

Because he mustn't accept his current situation. He has stopped fighting the strings.

And Sherlock won't be good. And when Sherlock is not good, there won't be hugs and warmth.

"I've disappointed you."

"Yes. Yes, that is a good deduction."

John's hurt expression makes him close his eyes. Of course he snaps some seemingly cold-blooded answer while he drowns in his pain.

He does not even think about for one second that he hurt John.

That he has the ability to hurt John, like John has the ability to hurt Sherlock.

Sherlock is self-pitying himself way too much to...

The game is what he has to concentrate on now.

It would be very nice, indeed. Not feeling. Just playing.

That is why Sherlock goes to Moriarty. Alone.

He does not really care if Moriarty is really interested in the Bruce-Partington-plans or not.

He just wants to stop the noise in his head that says John is with Sarah John looks at Sarah John touches Sarah.

His work has always been the best medicine. His kind, beautiful, undemanding wife. He has cheated on her way too long, so he goes to the pool and wants to embrace her and never let her go and let her work her numbing charm on him.

Maybe she is able to cut the strings.

But she is not.

Oh God, I love him.

Don't take away my strings. His strings. I want to be bound to him forever, even if he does not. Even if he does not love me. Even if he is with Sarah.

I'm his.

And it's fine.

Just don't take him away from me. Please. I will do anything, I will do everything, but don't take my John away.

I need him.

I love him.

John John John. Please. tie me up even more, I need more strings from you, more ropes, tighter ropes, stronger ropes so nothing can take me away from you.

Please, you can do with me whatever you want, torment me, whatever, just don't let them take away from me.

I'm your prisoner, I'm your puppet, and I love it.

What are you doing to me, John?

Moriarty has fled and they are at home. The semtex was fake. Of course. In a normal situation, Sherlock would have seen this at once.

Sherlock feels hollow at the new sensation that is still overwhelming him.

He lies on the couch and tries to stop thinking.

To stop to think.

He has lost every control he has ever had. The panic is slowly creeping up his back. He jumps up and takes the violin, plays it with the utmost concentration.

At least these strings are only his, he has got control over them.

Sherlock plays flawlessly, beautifully, and John almost forgets his anger.

He just listens for a few minutes and watches Sherlock's calm face getting even calmer.

"What are you doing to me, Sherlock?"

Sherlock stops playing and looks up.

"Why did you go without me?", John asks calmly. He goes to Sherlock and stays still only a few inches in front of him.

"You could have been killed." John's voice is still calm but cold as ice. Sherlock just looks at him blankly.

"Why didn't you run when I told you to?" John's voice is a whisper now. Sherlock does not understand.

"And what the hell are you doing to me, Sherlock?", John shouts and kisses Sherlock.

Sherlock looks at his hands, when John finally let go of his mouth and is holding him in his arms, whispering "you are not allowed to die, you idiot, what would I have done if you have died, Sherlock, Sherlock, Sherlock..."

Sherlock stares at his hands. Is dumbfounded.

He cannot even count the amount of strings he is holding.

And all of them are leading to John.