AN- Written for a prompt. Prompt does contain spoilers, so it will be posted at the end. Warnings for non-con and violence, so if you don't like, don't read.
Nightmares were always there. Ella told him that was normal after coming back from war, being injured, returning to a normal civilian life.
Except these dreams weren't of that.
He could never remember them clearly when he awoke, which was probably a good thing, but there was no bright sun, no sand, no dirt. It wasn't Afghanistan.
He did remember men.
Cool night air, because it was night, or just dark, since he couldn't seem to see, but then there were hands and the pavement was meeting his face and -
He woke up with a start, breathing heavily. But it was gone already. All that remained was flashes of voices shouting. They could have been his own. Maybe there had been sand. It was hard to tell in the dark. That was the problem with dreams. He could never be sure of them.
He limped around his small room, and made an attempt at writing his blog post, like Ella told him to. But the cursor only blinked at him.
He went to therapy and lied to her about the blog, which she knew.
"Nothing happens to me," he told her.
And he was fairly certain that bit was true.
And lo and behold, miracle of miracles, something finally happened to John.
One very big thing.
And he life erupted into late night chases, illegal firearms, kidnappings, criminal activities, and periods in between where his mad flatmate would shoot at the wall, store experiments in the fridge, and drug him for science.
He didn't go back to see Ella any more.
Perhaps it was because he didn't want to admit he was wrong; things could, and did, happen to him.
Of course, it was more likely because he was happy.
He still had nightmares, but they weren't as violent, not as shocking, and nowhere near as frequent.
Sherlock may have fixed his psychosomatic limp, but he couldn't repair his fractured psyche. Wouldn't that be magnificent.
Even the famous Sherlock Holmes wasn't that great.
("What a tender world that would be...")
There was a sticky note on the mirror one morning as he went to brush his teeth.
John didn't know why there would be a note telling someone to wake up on the mirror, when they obviously had to be awake to get there.
He crumpled it up and threw it in the bin. Perhaps he'd speak with Sherlock about that.
Or perhaps it would be better if he didn't.
He'd asked Sherlock about things like that before, and the answers he'd gotten were less than helpful, to say the least.
Some things, like the body parts on the counter, were best addressed, and other things, like this, were best left alone.
Five of them, and only him it was dark and no one would be able to hear him scream, not that he could, since one of them had a giant hand clasped over his mouth and he'd already tried biting it, but that only made him swear and kick him again and then there was his belt being undone and oh god he knew what was happening now, no someone please-
He woke up screaming, but as soon as his eyes were open, he couldn't remember why.
It took him nearly an hour to calm down, and there was no chance of him sleeping again that night.
Sherlock must have heard him, but didn't come upstairs, instead choosing to play his violin in the living room, soothing tunes that John drifted on the edge of consciousness to. By the time it was light out, he felt like he might actually be able to face the world, with the help of a lot of tea to keep him from falling asleep.
Days like that never tended to go well, but this one was looking better than most.