(fyi, I have no beta yet so sorry for errors)

When John wakes, it is to drug induced disorientation and his arms painfully bound behind the back of the chair he is currently slumped forward in. His first reaction is one of calm observation of his surroundings. Life experience has instilled both patience and clear headedness in the man, especially in times of trouble and what better time than this? White room, featureless except for a large metal panel set into the wall, about 6 feet wide and 4 tall by John's estimation.

Odd, but he'll focus on that when it actually seems to serve a purpose in this. Think, how did you end up here. Where were you abducted from? Was it the flat?

They might have Sherlock.

The first surge of panic takes him at the thought. Fuck, fuck, fuck, wait. No, he'd been on his way back from doing paperwork for Lestrade. He'd decided to walk a few blocks in the surprisingly nice weather before hailing a cab. Then? Nothing. Everything past entering the cab was a very sudden, very dark, blank. John's brain takes this information and formats it thusly:

He has been kidnapped

There is nothing and no one in this room with him (metal panel excluded)

He has no idea who has done this nor any clues

Whether or not they have Sherlock is unknown

Right, then. John immediately turns to the only course of action available to him. He begins testing the bindings on his wrists. For some reason he cannot imagine, they are bound with some sort of stiff, course rope and not cuffs. The rope begins to saw through his wrists as he tests the bindings but he doesn't wince or otherwise react to the blood that begins to drip from his hands. This is hardly the worst he's been through and should he live, he knows it won't be the last bit of pain he suffers. The chord winds through the metal slats on the back of the chair, which he notices is bolted to the ground.

Bits and flashes of Sherlock threaten to sidetrack him but John knows the only way he can help Sherlock is to get out of here. As he continues to fumble with the infinitesimally yielding knots, the blood plipping against the cement floor faster with every second, the metal panel in the wall recesses slightly and begins to descend. Behind it is a large glass window. Through the window is a well-dressed man, his eyes glinting like chips of obsidian.

Moriarty stares at John with no expression, no emotion, no hint of any reason for this other than to watch John Watson sit in a chair. He is reclining it a chair looking suspiciously more expensive than the cost of everything John owns combined. His hands alight primly on the armrest, manicure nails glinting in the fluorescents and for all the felinity he exudes, John can still feel ice water pooling deep in his stomach, an ache that is slowly spreading to the rest of him. Moriarty was always a possibility of course but John had been hoping, very nearly praying, for it to be someone else, anyone else. Because this, Moriarty's too pretty hands being at the wheel? This is as bad as it can possibly get.

John shows nothing on his face, merely meets the viperous stare of the man who, on their previous meeting, had strapped him with a c-4 vest and breathed vile promises in his ear. Anger bubbles violently but John has no choice but to control it. The results of this meeting will not only decide whether or not he leaves the room alive but will also set the tone for any further dealings Moriarty has planned with him.

Slowly, neither increasing nor decreasing his breathing, without a flicker to his eyes, or a twitch in his face, John begins calmly closing away his emotions. First the anger, quickly and securely for it is the most likely to affect anything he might say. Second, the fear. This one is easy, an emotion he perfected control over long before he'd met Sherlock or heard of Jim from IT. The third is a different kind of fear; it is an icy dread nested deep inside of him. Poisonous and crawling and difficult beyond measure to contain. It is the dread that Moriarty's plan is already in action. That, at this moment, Sherlock is rushing headlong into yet another trap that John has been made the bait of. He struggles with it, nearly losing the fight when the picture of Sherlock's face at the pool comes unbidden to his mind. He cannot put Sherlock through that again.

Before it can get any more out of hand, John summons all of his willpower and settles a vice like grip around the unwelcome emotion and pulls. It hurts for a second but comes free and this too, he tucks away. A soothing sort of void settles over him and John meets Moriarty's stare, second for second.

How long it lasts, he has no way of telling. Exhaustion slowly begins to set into his bones but still he watches the predator behind the glass. He will give nothing to this man. He does his best to drill that into Moriarty through his eyes alone.

I will not help you. You will gain nothing except my death. I am prepared to endure hell at your hands but you will still walk away empty-handed.

No matter how many times John looks back on it, he can never understand what changed to make Moriarty move first. To John's mind, he had not moved, he had not blinked or twitched but perhaps the only prompting Moriarty needed was his own.

His right hand rises, fingertips just resting over his lips. Lips whose corners are twitched up just the slightest notch. James Moriarty is smiling at John in a coquettish fashion reminiscent of flirtatious courtesans peering from behind elegant fans. His manicured nails glint like ivory against his lips and John knows that his disgust is ill-concealed when both hand and smile simultaneously drop. In seconds, the villain is out of his chair and the door to the observation room is swinging shut behind him. John wants to be relieved but he has a decent idea of where the man is headed.

Soon enough, there comes the unmistakable sound of a door being opened not too far behind him and cold metal digs in the base of his neck. It isn't clear who holds the gun until too sweet lips ghosts past John's face, Moriarty's lips unsettlingly close to his ear.

"Not to worry, good doctor, I will return you to your flat in one piece." The gun digs into his skin before twisting, grinding against his spinal chord. God, but it hurts. "And do you know why?"

He doesn't answer, knows that Moriarty doesn't expect him to have nor does he likely want to hear it. A chuckle at his other ear makes him jump. Moriarty moves so quietly, it can't be human. He curses himself for jumping but curses out loud when a tongue suddenly darts against his jawline.

"Oh, I don't mind if you swear, my treat." As he talks, his voice erratically jumps up and down, steadies then quickens and John has to keep himself from visibly shaking in anger. "No. no. no, precious, don't look at me like that. You've done so well today, don't ruin it."

"And it what way have I performed well?" John feels the gun at his neck pull away at his participation and is surprised when Moriarty flops onto the ground in front him. The look on his face is akin to a child on Christmas morning. "To my knowledge, I've been sitting in a chair and nothing else."

"Exactly! You're perfect!" The madman is practically beaming now and all John can do is struggle to comprehend his meaning. Moriarty shows his first glimmer of irritation when he sees John's confusion. "I didn't understand how he could put up with you, you excel at nothing in particular. You're a decent doctor and a good shot but nothing to write home about."

Instead of looking him in the eye, John watches as one of his hands traces out patterns too complex for John's eyes to track on the floor. "Do you have any idea how long our little staring contest went on, John? Four hours. Four hours!" His giggles are too high pitched for a grown man. "And you know what? You gave nothing. You denied me anything I could possibly see in you. Your eyes were dead, John, and I've seen my share of corpses."

Moriarty has begun playing with the cuff of John's pants, mindlessly tugging and tucking, twisting and smoothing. "And in nothing I've found everything I could have ever hoped for." With that he rises in one smooth motion to his feet, smoothing his suit in practiced motions before leveling a full smile at John. "Toodloo, Mr. Watson. I'm sure we'll see one another again."

Soft lips pressed chastely to his own are the last thing John has a chance to understand before a blow to the back of the head sends him spiraling back into unconsciousness. He wakes up some unknown amount of time later in his bed at Baker Street, his hands free and his head sore. On his ceiling a piece of paper has been tacked.

"Let's do lunch sometime!



As soon as he is able to stand, John rips it off the ceiling and stashes it to destroy later when he has the chance. He has already decided not to tell Sherlock about this and he knows Moriarty is aware of this as well. The man didn't really hurt John and somehow, this didn't really seem to be about Sherlock, at least not much. The last thing he wants after this ordeal is to send Sherlock on a pointless spiral, obsessively searching for traces of Moriarty's trail and drilling John for information he simply does not have.

Decision made, he heads downstairs to find the flat empty and a still warm pot of coffee waiting for him. He doesn't want to know who made it or why.

But he has a really good guess.