John could feel the intensity of Sherlock's gaze, but couldn't bring himself to look up at his flat mate,keeping his eyes fixed on the rug. He had no idea how Sherlock was going to react to the knowledge that he had been raped by his brother, and thinking about it, he had no idea how was going to react to it. He'd been so convinced it was Moriarty, that it was Mycroft seemed almost unbelievable. Even when he'd been going for his gun, his instincts all telling him the truth, part of his brain had been completely thrown by the concept.
"John!" The silence had stretched on for so long, that when Sherlock broke it, John was startled enough to flinch. "John, you said you would tell me the truth - then do so. I, I fear I am allowing sentiment to interfere with my deductions, and I cannot - please, John. What did Mycroft do?"
Sherlock had moved closer during his speech, and his feet were now within John's view. John closed his eyes before lifting his head, drawing in a deep breath before finally meeting those piercing eyes. This was it. No more the truth was so much worse for Sherlock than he'd ever have imagined.
"Sherlock, sit down, please." John was impressed his voice came out quite so evenly. "I can't talk with you hovering over me like that." Sherlock, for once, did as he was told with no argument, pout, or eye roll, and took a seat in his usual chair. John did likewise, and started to talk. Considering how hard he found it to start, once he had he couldn't stop. The whole story came out in a rush, like it had been waiting inside him all this time, and was now flooding out, escaping while it could. He explained how he had been so convinced it was Moriarty, why he had tried to keep it a secret from Sherlock, and his promise to himself to kill the man.
John had been able to look, if not into Sherlock's eyes, then at least in his general direction during most of the explanation, but now, as he came to the end, he couldn't do it, and found himself stating down at the rug again.
"It was when he hushed you earlier, it was just like he hushed me. I think part of me knew right away, but I tried to convince myself I was wrong. But then, when he held out his hand for the tea, and I saw those hands, just like the ones that had touched me, and I just reacted. I still don't understand. I mean, he's always been a bit creepy, but I thought he was one of the good guys. And I don't, I just don't understand how, or why he would..." John broke off at a banging sound - Sherlock had pushed a pile of books onto the floor. It wasn't until he looked up that he realised he'd been crying. Sherlock didn't look like he was doing much better - he was even paler than usual, and his mouth was set.
"John." His name was an expression of sorrow, an entreaty, and a balm all at once. "John, what My- what he did, I cannot begin to apologise to you. That he is my brother sickens me, and I will never think of him as such again. I, he, the reasons that he gave, it is partly my fault, and I can understand if you no longer want me here, but if you want, I will kill him, or help you to do so." Sherlock leapt from his chair to kneel in front of John's. "I will do whatever it takes for you to recover from this violation."
John didn't know what to say to this outburst. It was certainly one of Sherlock's more emotional moments. He knew that Sherlock had obviously been able to deduce parts of what had happened, and that Mycroft had as much as admitted to what he had done in front of Sherlock, but a part of him had been afraid Sherlock would not believe him. Blood is thicker than water after all, and Mycroft was Sherlock's brother, while he had known John such a short time. That he was so unequivocally on his side made John feel relieved and safe and warm.
There was also a part of him that longed to take Sherlock up on his offer to kill, or help him kill, Mycroft, but there was no way he could let him. While he had wanted to kill the man who had raped him, he was no believer in an eye for an eye, or any of that. He was a doctor and a soldier. He wanted justice - but there was no way Mycroft would be locked up for this - or for anything probably - and he wanted to know that it would never happen again to him, or anyone else. From what Mycroft had said, it had been a cross between his own desire for John, and wanting to ruin Sherlock's friendship with him, that drove him to it - a set of circumstances that would be unlikely to occur again. And now that Sherlock knew, there was no way he would ever let Mycroft do anything to John ever again. And John could not involve Sherlock in murdering anyone, least of all his own brother.
"No, Sherlock. We can't kill him. Much as I'd like to. But I would like to be sure he will never do it again - to me or anyone else." Sherlock scowled at this, but nodded reluctantly.
"Very well, John. No killing him. And you can be sure I will never let him anywhere near you. I don't know how we can stop him from hurting anyone else. I will give the matter some thought." John nodded, satisfied by this.
"Thank you. But you need to be clear on one thing. None of this is your fault in anyway, and I won't have you blaming yourself. He is the only one who should be blamed. I also could have told you the first time it had happened, you would have figured it out and I would have been spared part of the ordeal. But you didn't know, and I did my best to hide it from you. I don't know why he mentioned you as a reason, but "
"I know" Sherlock interrupted, and John looked at him in surprise. "He said he wanted something I could never have. Because he knew, John, that I wanted you. You are my friend, and my colleague, and my blogger, and my doctor, but I wanted more, and My - he knew, he saw it, and he was jealous that I had found someone that I could have feelings for, and jealous that your were my friend, and so he took what you would never give either of us."
Sherlock stopped abruptly, and turned away. " So you see, it was partly my fault, and even if it weren't, now that you know my true feelings for you, I will understand if you want to leave." John was temporarily stunned into silence, but knew he had to speak soon or Sherlock would take that as an answer.
"Do you want me to leave Sherlock?"
"No, I would much prefer it if you would stay." Sherlock's reply was a relief, as John could not imagine feeling safe anywhere away from him for a while at any rate.
"Then I shall stay. I can't say I am not sh- surprised by what you have said. Sherlock, I didn't have a clue you even, I mean, I thought you were married to your work. And I've never thought, and now is really not the time. But Sherlock. I want to stay. And I want us to be friends, and flatmates, and colleagues. So if that is ok with you, that is what we'll do. And we'll work out how to keep him away, and I'll work out how to get over it all, and we'll work everything else out as it comes. If that's ok with you?"
"Yes, John. It is. And we will." Sherlock tentatively smiled at John, and he found himself smiling back for the first time in too long.