AN: Hi! This is number 2 in my second bulk upload, or number 7 in the overall whump series. It's just a little glimpse into the unimaginable; that is if Moriarty got his hands on Sherlock. I'll be doing two Moriarty/Sherlock stories, though the second will be M rated.
This story is RATED for GRAPHIC VIOLENCE/TORTURE. I've not quite made it an M because you get similar scenes in films (James Bond etc) however, if you feel it should be higher than a T, please let me know.
This is set in the convenient little void between the end of Series 1 (and John and Sherlock's escape) and the beginning of Series 2. This will have lots of Angst, and a little Hurt/Comfort Johnlock at the end.
DISCLAIMER: Still don't own the Sherlock Holmes franchise in any way, shape or form. Still own all my own original ideas and characters, so you, still, may not steal them.
When Sherlock came to, he didn't bother hiding his grimace against the pain now thundering through his mind. Of all the chemicals employed by the criminal underworld, chloroform had to be his least favorite. Typically, it would therefore be one of the most effective, available and commonly used. Dull.
Moving on from the chloroform, Sherlock analysed his situation. He was blindfolded: irriating, he hated any impediment on his senses, but realized quickly there was nothing he could about it presently and moved on. He was hanging by his arms from something, a subtle twist revealed that it was a metal beam, and he was hanging from cuffs and chains which had already began to damage his wrists. He felt a small smirk of contempt pull at his lips. How very medieval. The toes of his shoes brushed the floor, but only just, not enough to take his weight from his arms. Luckily, Sherlock was a deceptively well built man. His muscles could probably put up with this for a few hours. Longer than that and he'd most likely be in trouble anyway. He was missing his shirt, and in an abandoned building of some sort, relatively empty and quite expansive, so a gust of wind told him a moment after his initial observations.
A sniff of the air suggested some sort of warehouse judging by the dust and faint smell of damp wood, that and the smell of the river. So, he was hanging from the roof of an abandoned warehouse near the Thames, blindfolded and shirtless. Having ascertained all he could, Sherlock waited for his captors to make their next move, vaguely wondering how long it would take Mycroft to find him this time.
Thankfully, he didn't have to wait long for his kidnappers to make themselves known. Perhaps John's 'normal' people would have been upset by this development, but it was either meet the kidnappers or face the boredom of hanging about blind, and currently, Sherlock vehemently preferred the latter.
He smiled a little when he heard the familiar click of a pair of designer shoes he was sure he recognized, though inwardly his heart had picked up the pace and his blood was going cold.
"Is that you?"
"Hello sexy!" Jim Moriarty's voice was soft and mad and mocking as ever, and it wasn't long before Sherlock could feel his archenemy standing in front of him, feel being the operative word for his sensory perception of Moriarty's breath over his face, his deceptively soft fingers caressing Sherlock's bare shoulder in an almost tender gesture. "Did you miss me?" Moriarty's voice was suddenly low and rough and sinister, and then the effect was ruined when he giggled.
"Oh this is so exciting! You see Sherlock, much as I love our games, and I really do, I also like to play with my toys from time to time. I'm so selfish like that. So I thought I could get us an hour or two, playtime!" The way he said, light and high and childish, was somehow much, much more frightening than any threat Sherlock had ever been given. He made an effort to school his features into an expression of studied disinterest.
"Oh? Seems a bit dull for me."
He could almost sense Moriarty pouting. "I know darling, but I did say I was selfish. This is more for my benefit."
"Tad medieval, don't you think?" Sherlock was proud of the fact he still managed to pull of calm and sardonic, even when his mind was screaming through possible escape routes and realizing with a certain finality that none were currently available to him.
Moriarty laughed. "Oh baby, you've gotta love the classics. Besides, we haven't even got started yet." He clicked his fingers, and there was a crack, the sound of a whip (it took Sherlock's mind a moment to connect the sound to the concept) from behind him, and then a heavy, stinging blow landed on his back. Sherlock huffed out a breath of air, and Moriarty giggled. "Ooooh I just knew you were a strong one. I love it when they're tricky to break. Again!"
The whip came down again and Sherlock flinched, gritting his teeth as he felt blood begin to drip leisurely down the hot-cold painful mark that had just been made on his back. At Moriarty's instruction, he was flogged.
Sherlock wanted to lose count of the strokes. He wanted to surrender to oblivion and let go and just escape. But his brilliant, terrible mind wouldn't let him off quite so easily, and instead, especially thanks to his visual impairment, he was vividly aware of each strike. He heard the whip whistling toward him, flinched in anticipation, felt, as if all the cells in his back had increased their sensitivity tenfold, each stroke of the leather, the way it bit into his skin, tore and bruised his flesh.
It was on 17 that Sherlock made his first sound, a soft, strangled whimper. By 26, he was screaming. By 38 his voice was hoarse and weak. By 43, he was falling in and out of consciousness, shaking violently and bleeding profusely.
"Ok! That's the end of that bit. I was getting bored. Weren't you darling?"
Sherlock was unable to respond. He was hardly capable of latching onto Moriarty's voice and deciphering it into a coherent language.
The consulting criminal chuckled, running his fingers down Sherlock's ragged back, or what was left of it, coated as it was by 43 long, vivid wounds. Sherlock shuddered as the other man agitated the sores, only half listening to his words. "Well, I suppose we had quite different experiences. Wake him up boys."
Two buckets of ice water were thrown quite suddenly over Sherlock's naked torso. He gasped back into the agonizing clarity of consciousness, his back screaming protest as the ice water made its creeping way over what was left of his skin.
They started attaching electrodes to his skin, to his chest and the soles of his feet. Sherlock didn't bother to hide his tremble. He knew what to expect now, at least hypothetically. It made it a thousand times worse. Before they had a chance to go through with the next stage of his torture, he managed to gabble, desperately, "aren't you worried you'll break my mind with my body? If you did, there wouldn't be anyone you play your game with you."
"No one would be able to play as well as you can." Moriarty agreed with mock solemnity. Sherlock heard his neat little shoes stepping closer across the concrete floor, and then the man was whispering in his ear; or as close as he could get, his breath ghosting over Sherlock's neck and collarbone. "But then, we both know this won't break you. You're much stronger than that. And don't you hate yourself for it now?" The villain pressed a quick, chaste kiss to Sherlock's cheek, and the consulting detective managed not to flinch, though he pulled an expression of childish disgust. Moriarty laughed, giving him a gentle slap. "Now now, don't be that way. We were meant to be, you and I."
Sherlock imagined Moriarty gave his men some sort of nod or gesture, but he didn't really care. His body tensed, jerked and spasmed, his back arching as far as it is could, so far he felt sure that his spine would snap and he really didn't care if it meant the pain would stop, stop for just a moment, a moment, a moment of relief from the fierce, burning, aching, ice fire torment of the electricity roaring through his body.
The electrocution was exhausting. Each time a fresh current ran through his body, no matter how much or how loudly the rational part of his mind screamed hysterically that it would stop, it felt like eternity. Sherlock lost all awareness, all he knew was the white hot writhing fire coursing through him, and it was agony and al engulfing and he hated it with every fibre of his being, as if pure detestation could make it stop. He wasn't sure at what point he started crying, but when he came to after another shock, the dampness under his eyes, soaking his damned blindfold, felt like just another part of his torment. He couldn't remember the last time he'd cried.
Finally, finally it was ended. Sherlock gasped in great, shuddering, painful breaths. Every inch of his being, every ounce of matter, felt as if it was about to shudder apart at the seams, but somehow he managed to stay together. After another time defying moment, sense began to return to his thoughts. He was amazed he hadn't bitten his own tongue out. His wrists had started to bleed, what with all his jerking, and his left arm was dislocated, an excruciatingly painful situation considering he was still hanging from it, which had been drowned out by the electrocution. Sherlock let out a soft hiss of pain as the impact of this new injury assaulted his senses.
He heard Moriarty's steps coming closer again, heard the man's soft, mad giggle, and tried to ignore the last part of his situation which…bothered him more than he cared to admit. At least not here. Not in front of this man.
"Hmm. Still not broken are you? Oooh that's so sexy honey. You're definitely my favorite toy. We're running out of time though." Moriarty laughed at the flicker of hope that danced almost imperceptibly across Sherlock's pale features. "Oh no, it's not almost over. You're not that lucky. I still have the piece de resistance to come! But I have to do it properly. I'm something of a perfectionist like that. I'm sure you'll forgive me."
Something cold touched Sherlock's bare, wet skin and he jumped, jerking his arm and bracing himself as another wave of pain rolled through him. He wrinkled his nose in annoyance. He hated being so helpless. Moriarty, in the mean time, was humming, using a stethoscope, Sherlock ascertained, to…listen to his heart? Sherlock frowned, using all senses apart from his eyes (still obstructed) . He heard a pen being uncapped, sniffed quickly and discerned it being a permanent marker. Moriarty then proceeded to…draw on him? Sherlock could feel himself frowning in confusion, but he didn't bother to hide it, hoping for an answer to his unspoken question. What was the other man doing?
Moriarty finished, re-capping his pen. There was a scuffle, a click (something being plugged in), a low hum. Moriarty whistled cheerfully, a tune Sherlock felt ought to be familiar but that he'd probably deleted. Which was a little unusual, because he normally kept music. Either way, something about it, in spite of its light, almost childish roll, had a shiver running down his spine.
A moment later heavy footfalls, those of the thug who had whipped him Sherlock was fairly sure, came closer then passed him by, stopping just behind him. Sherlock couldn't help the goosebumps rising on his flesh in anticipation of further pain. He was not whipped again thought, Moriarty wouldn't repeat himself so soon. Instead two big, calloused hands (so a manual labourer by day, Sherlock stored away the information for later) landed on his skin, one gripping his hip, and the other his shoulder. The hand on his hip was the one that made Sherlock's skin crawl. He had rarely been touched in such an intimate area, at least not deliberately, and though he doubted anything would come of it presently, it continued to make him distinctly uncomfortable. He disliked being touched normally, but this felt…like a breach of some unspoken line.
He was soon distracted however, by the light clunk of something metal against the concrete floor, followed by Moriarty's footsteps. Something was being held near his skin. It emanated heat, but Sherlock knew nothing more than that and he hated it.
"I'd have liked this to just have been the two of us. But Graham here is awfully useful from time to time, and I need you to be still so I get this right."
Again, Sherlock felt confusion rise in his mind like an itch that needed to be scratched. He didn't have to wait long for an answer this time.
It was worse than the whip, he decided, though not after the 26th stroke. The electrocution was simply a different sort of pain.
Moriarty was drawing on him again, but this time with nothing quite so benign as a permanent marker. Instead he was using a stick of metal, probably a poker, either red or white hot, Sherlock was in too much pain to distinguish which. All he knew was that it hurt, and in that one, simple, small little statement was all of the agony, every broken, hoarse cry he let out as Moriarty dragged and pushed and twisted and burned him, marking him.
The metal lifted from his skin, and Sherlock heaved a great, sobbing pant of relief, gasping in air again before the metal touched down again, burning into a point just inside his hip, and God he could smell his own burnt flesh, he could smell it…Moriarty made the mark on his hip, smaller than the one on Sherlock's chest, and brushed it with his thumb, causing Sherlock to flinch violently away from the fresh wound on his hip – or as far as he could, Graham had kept him steady throughout, in spite of his half hearted, pointless, desperate struggles.
"I'll come back for that one later." Moriarty murmured, still keeping his thumb on Sherlock's hip, before leaning forward and kissing his cheek.
There were footsteps. Rustles. Clinks. Metal and fabric. And then the steps moved away, and there was a creak and a slam, and they were gone.
At least Sherlock thought they were. He couldn't know for sure until his damn blindfold was gone. He hated it. He hated being blind. So instead he hung, his arm aching in a silent scream, his chest and hip hissing and stinking (and suddenly he understood what John meant about body parts being disgusting sometimes, because this was just too much), his back feeling as if at any moment the skin would simply peel away.
It was 37 minutes later, Sherlock had kept track by counting the seconds, pushing away all other thoughts, thoughts of pain and Moriarty and what was going on, when three vehicles and a helicopter stopped outside the room.
Heavy boots came running in, a series of them, military timing, so Mycroft's people, and Sherlock had never been so relieved to come to that conclusion in his life.
The military people were shouting: securing the area, looking for clues. A group came to him, medics. A woman was speaking while they searched for a way to get him down without damaging him further (someone said something about a ladder), the woman was telling him everything would be alright, and he wanted to tell her he was fine and he wanted to see her and rip her apart with the mundane transparency she thought made up her life, just so he'd feel a little less pitied.
But all this was secondary. Instead, he found a litte more strength inside him, coaxed his bruised voicebox, and managed to say, as loudly as he could. "Mycroft." The people around him stilled, probably looking to the man in question. Sherlock swallowed, for the first time realizing exactly how dry his mouth was, and tried again. "My…Mycroft." He hoped his brother would understand.
Sharp shoes, a footstep he'd recognize anywhere, the tapping of an umbrella, the soft footfalls of the medics moving away, and then gentle, gentle hands were reaching round the back of his head, taking the hated blindfold away. Sherlock found himself breathing more easily with it gone, and when he blinked his eyes open, finally seeing where he was, observing his surroundings, he could not have explained the sense of relief, and safety that descended upon him. Ever since they'd been children, it had been a silly thing, insignificant, but Sherlock could not stand to be blindfolded. To lose his eyes. It was something that had always terrified him more than he'd care to admit. He needed to see to know it was over. As long as that blindfold had been there, Moriarty's spectre was still skulking in the shadows behind his eyelids, planning how to hurt him next.
He looked down into his brother's eyes, letting everything he was feeling, yes, feeling, because he was too tired and too hurt to try and stop it, come through. Mycroft's eyebrows raised, and his worried expression contorted into one of almost grief. Some of his men had a ladder by now, and after a few (painful) attempts, they managed to snap the chains. Sherlock fell into his big brother, who caught him, dropping his umbrella and gently, gently steadying the younger man. Sherlock slumped into him, burying his face in Mycroft's expensive suit, feeling a sudden need to just know there was someone there, and wanting to be three years old again, and safe and protected. After a few moments he took a deep breath, trying to stand on his own feet. He nearly fell, but Mycroft caught him, and eventually circulation came back, even if the faint burns from his electrocution made standing difficult. Sherlock wanted to retain at least a scrap of his dignity. He met his brother's eyes and nodded, once. "Thankyou. Where's John?"
Later, after John had dealt with Sherlock's wounds (because he wouldn't let anyone else go near them) and after John had cried, at the horror which Sherlock had experienced, at the fact he had been alone, and after Sherlock had finally fallen asleep curled up on John's lap in his bed (and ok maybe that wasn't what platonic flatmates did but damnit Sherlock needed him), John eventually nodded off himself.
It was at this point that Sherlock opened his eyes and, stiffly, but still very, very carefully, extricated himself from the gentle, protective loop of John's arm. The man sighed, but continued to sleep, and Sherlock took a moment to steel himself before standing awkwardly, ignoring the crutches next to the bed. He hadn't slept at all, truth be told, but he know it would make John feel better to think he had, and he had got as close to sleep as he was likely to in the next few days. There was a sort of comfort, an ease and a warmth (a safe, normal warmth) which surrounded Sherlock whenever he was near John, a feeling that wrapped him like a cocoon when the doctor was being kind, and caring, and treating him like a human being. He needed it right now.
Limping to the bathroom, Sherlock didn't both to turn on the light, his sharp eyes easily finding what he was looking for, that being his reflection. Absently, he brushed a hand over the gauze taped firmly against the M which had been carved into his hip. He still remembered John's reaction, vividly. He'd never seen the man so furious, and John had been fairly angry with Moriarty throughout his treatment. When Sherlock repeated what Moriarty said, John looked like he couldn't decide whether he wanted to break someone's neck, be sick, or grab Sherlock and hide him somewhere. Instead, he settled for going somewhat overboard on the gauze, ensuring the mark was well hidden before proceeding to grab Sherlock's hand and hold it tightly, apparently without thinking. Sherlock felt a small smile curve his lips at the memory, though he wasn't exactly sure why.
Instead, he turned his focus back to the mirror, deftly peeling away the pad of gauze that had been over the wound on his chest. John had been somewhat confused by the marks when he'd dealt with them, but he'd moved on quickly, apparently unwilling to look at the burns for longer than he had to. It was a little difficult, what with the salve and the dark, but it only took Sherlock a moment to decipher the message Moriarty had left for him, right over his heart.
Mine to burn.
Sherlock stared at the ugly, crimson wounds for a while longer, thinking about when he'd been telling John about what had happened, thinking about humming the song Moriarty had whistled before branding him, and the way John had paled and named it as a nursery rhyme, 'London's burning.' Then, quietly, Sherlock went back into his bedroom, awkwardly lying on his side and curling up on John, pressing his legs to other man's body, and resting against his slim, warm abdomen. He nuzzled into the other man's skin, reaching up and pulling his arm around him, and lying there, Sherlock tried very very hard not to think about pain, or loneliness, or crime, or Moriarty.
Or the fact that he had no doubt Jim would make good on his promise.
Eeek! Bit (very) angst-y I'm afraid, I'm in a bit of a mood for it. Next one is much nicer, it's called ''Brotherly Love', and it's a sweet little story about the Holmes brothers. Sorry for typos but fanfic lost my edits 3 times and I just didn't have the same willpower on the 4th attempt.
Thank you for reading.