A/N I've decided that this story is set between 3X01 and 3X02. I think it works well that way.
Also: None of the characters belong to me. I'm just playing with them because I'm bored.
It was a thrilling case. John almost felt like in the old days. That was, until they had been captured by a psychotic criminal who captured people and interrogated them on request.
Sherlock described him as a consulting torturer. The man had been abducting several high-ranking politicians which had made Sherlock curious.
The plan had gone wrong a bit and here they were.
The criminal's assistants locked them in one of the old, dirty prison cells in their underground headquarters and left.
"Right then. Time for a brilliant plan of yours to get us out of here, right?" John asked while he inspected the iron bars.
A whimpering sound made him turn around abruptly.
"Sherlock, now's not the time for playin- You alright?"
But Sherlock couldn't hear him. He felt like he was drowning in pure terror. He was being in Serbia getting whipped again and John was there. Angry at him. Not welcoming him. Hating him.
Sherlock whimpered once more and curled on a tight ball on the floor. John hated him. He deserved this. Everything was wrong. He was so cold and it hurt so much and there was no one, absolutely no one who would come and get him out of this hell.
John watched his best friend cry and curl up on the floor. He crouched down next to him, trying not to panic. He didn't entirely know what's going on or why Sherlock was behaving like this. Sure, it was a sticky situation but they'd sure had worse.
"Sherlock? Sherlock, can you hear me?" He asked softly and all he received was another of these heart-wrenching whimpers. Sherlock Holmes sure knew how to break a man's heart.
He began sobbing then and John pulled him in his lap and tried desperately to sooth him. His strong, icy Sherlock was breaking down. After what felt like hours, Sherlock passed out. Unconsciousness turned eventually into sleep which turned into nightmares.
John tried frantically to wake Sherlock from the hell that was his mind. But Sherlock had developed a fever and John just couldn't seem to wake him up. Sherlock had seemed a little pale and very tired since his return a few days ago but John had known better than to question the man about his sleeping habits.
Sherlock was speaking now, muttering nonsense and words John had never heard before. But amongst all that was: "John…Please no…No more, please, it hurts. Oh god I'm so sorry but please stop it…aaargh! My back...Mph…goldfish…" What was Sherlock dreaming? John couldn't really understand it but he decided to see what was wrong with Sherlock's back.
Happy to do something, John set to work and turned his ex-flatmate over. After stripping Sherlock off his shirt and jacket and a bandage, John saw why Sherlock was in such pain.
Scars. Ugly, fresh looking scars. Also really nasty bruises and some oozing welts. They seemed to be infected if their colour, smell and the pus were anything to go by.
The only explanation: Torture. An injury of that kind could not be sustained in a fight.
John was confused. Sherlock hadn't been missing or abducted or anything since his grand comeback a few days ago. So the only explanation was-
The only explanation was that Sherlock had been mistreated like that while he had been traveling the world. After further inspection, John found all sorts of scars and fading bruises all over Sherlock's way too thin body. The poor guy seemed to only consist of bone and skin.
"And I attacked you..." John mumbled ruefully as he clothed Sherlock again.
At this point, they had been sitting in there for several hours although John had lost his sense of time completely in their dark cell.
Suddenly, John heard gunfire. He stood up and placed his body protectively in front of his still unconscious friend. When he heard footsteps, he looked frantically and fruitlessly for a weapon.
Turned out he didn't need one, anyway. The person he saw walking towards their cell was none other than Gregory Lestrade.
"Oh god John, thank heavens! What's wrong with Sherlock?"
John found himself answering "A lot."
Outside the tunnels, they were greeted by a huge number of police officers a very upset looking Mary. "John! Man, I'm relieved! What happened?"
When she saw some paramedics escort the captured politicians and carry a lifeless Sherlock, she urgently asked "Dammit, John what's going on?!"
After John had explained the whole thing about their abduction (he'd conveniently left out the part about Sherlock), he asked Lestrade where they were taking Sherlock.
"St Bart's I should guess. D'you need a ride?"
"Yes, please." Said John and he and Mary went to Lestrade's car, where John explained the whole story in private to two of the few friends Sherlock had.
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