When Sherlock regained consciousness, he was initially alarmed to find the blindfold gone. He squinted, refusing to open his eyes completely and see anything that might sign his death warrant.

"Sherlock, it's okay. You're safe. It's me."


Sherlock sat up so abruptly that the room- the Baker Street sitting room- spun. Familiar hands grasped his shoulders and lowered him back onto the sofa cushions. John was staring down at him with that look of exasperated concern that used to make him roll his eyes. Now he was so overwhelmed with relief at the sight that he began to cry, great choking sobs.

"Easy, mate. I'm here." John leaned forward, gathered Sherlock in his arms, and rocked him. The detective wept into the front of his jumper, cheek rubbing against the soft fibers.

"You saved me?"

"Yes. Followed the GPS tracker on your phone when you didn't answer it, but had a hard time getting to you."

Actually, John mused, it hadn't been so hard. The bodyguards had been dispatched as easily as Corelli. A pre-arranged call to Mycroft had gotten the bodies removed and the surveillance tape destroyed. As he pressed his lips softly into Sherlock's curls, John recalled the conversation he and Mycroft had had while the latter's minions loaded the re-sedated detective into a government car for the ride home.

"You're sure he wasn't harmed, John?"

"Not in any way that won't heal."

"Good. I only allowed you to go through with this because I believe you're right. Sherlock's stubborn celibacy has probably contributed a great deal to his intractability."

"Well, I can tell you that going days without eating or sleeping makes him a bastard to live with. A lifetime without more than the odd wank? Any longer and we'd be faced with the Baker Street Ripper."

Mycroft had laughed. Then his face grew serious.

"Remember the rest of the bargain, John. That offshore account now has more money than you know what to do with, and I've added to it. Resign from the surgery. Sherlock is your full-time responsibility from now on."

"Yes. Of course."

Sherlock's sobs quieted, although he remained buried against John's jumper. "They raped me."

"Yes, and they're all dead now. The man who attacked you, the ones who picked you up in the first place- gone. Mycroft took care of it."

"Mycroft?" Sherlock raised his chin sharply. Then he shuddered and relaxed again. Of course. There was no way something like this would ever escape his brother's notice. "John, just hold me, all right?"

"Of course." The doctor's arms tightened around him. A few minutes passed. Then Sherlock shifted and spoke.

"John, how could anyone enjoy sex? It was horrible."

"You didn't have sex, Sherlock. You were assaulted sexually. Big difference."

"I doubt it."

"Trust me, there is. I'm sorry to ask such a question, but weren't there times when it felt good? When you got an erection?" John inhaled deeply through his nose, willing his cock to not stir at the memory.

Sherlock paused. "Just a natural response to stimulation."

"Yes, but imagine experiencing that pleasure from someone who loves you. Someone you trust. Wouldn't be horrible at all, Sherlock. Believe me."

John could tell that Sherlock was cross-posting this new data with the impressions obtained while Corelli was fucking him. "Perhaps not," the younger man finally mumbled. "John, I can't keep my eyes open. Keep holding me while I sleep, will you?"

"I promise."

When Sherlock's eyes closed and his breathing became more regular, John allowed himself to smile triumphantly. He'd said all the right things, and it wouldn't be long before Sherlock was his completely.