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Because We Need You.

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2:30 pm, Tuesday afternoon.

 

“Rosie! Slow down! Rosie, I mean it. Do not run up those stairs!” John wasn’t sure why he even bothered to yell at her. She wasn’t listening anyway. Three years old and a mind of her own. 

 

“Ah, Watson. Getting in trouble already?” Sherlock stood at the top of the stairs looking down at them both, his dark blue shirt rolled up, baring his forearms. John took a moment to run his eyes over Sherlock’s body in appreciation, before correcting his gaze to Rosie. 

She had paused halfway up the stairs yelling. “Erlock!” She continued bounding up the remaining steps leaping into Sherlock’s waiting arms. “Erlock, daddy says I get to stay with you!” Her face was lit up like the sun. 

 

“That is correct, my dear little Watson. It’s you and I all afternoon and I have just the experiment for us to work on.” 

 

John reached the top of the stairs with Rosie’s bag of toys and other things she may need during the afternoon. “Thank you for doing this for me, Sherlock. Are you sure you don’t mind?”

 

“Of course, I don’t mind. You know I love having her here and she is my goddaughter.” Sherlock squeezed Rosie close as she hugged him. “We will be just fine.” 

 

As John watched the display between his best friend and his daughter, his heart filled with happiness. Their easy comradery made him smile, Rosie babbling away at Sherlock, who was taking in every word and responding like it was the most important thing in his world. Both settled into the kitchen where Sherlock had laid out an experiment for them. 

 

John wished he could join them and spend the next few hours listening to both of them laugh. What he wouldn’t give to be able to pull them both into a hug and never let go. They were his life, his loves. Though Sherlock doesn’t know that. John continued to keep his feelings towards Sherlock hidden because that man deserved better and more than John could give him. 

 

 He was willing to sacrifice his own happiness and longing because no matter how much he may love Sherlock, Sherlock should have a chance at more than a broken, divorced, a single father can give him. He deserved to be wined and dined at the best places in London, to be flown to far off countries for romantic getaways without a child in tow. 

 

Besides, in all the years he had known Sherlock, never once did Sherlock act interested in him and then there was the "married to his work" comment that first night. No, John wasn’t going to change the way things were on a hope. He was happy just to have Sherlock in his and Rosie's life. 

 

As he snapped back out of his thoughts, he caught Sherlock staring at him with a questioning look.

 

“I will be back around six. Should I bring takeaway?” John asked, sitting down Rosie’s bag. 

 

“Sounds wonderful,” Sherlock responded, looking back at Rosie. “No, Watson, you must place it on the paper or the sample won't work.” 

 

John watched them for another moment before kissing Rosie on top of the head as she chatted random thoughts to Sherlock. Both hardly noticed him walk from the room and down the stairs.  

Rosie loved spending time with Sherlock - they regularly spent a couple afternoons and weekends together.

 

This was only the third time he had left her alone with Sherlock. The first time was only for two hours while he ran to an appointment. The second he had to work and the normal babysitter was running late, so Sherlock had hurried to his flat to watch Rosie until the sitter arrived. 

His flat...it didn’t feel like his. It felt like Mary’s and he was just using it for the time. 

 

Mary. 

 

What a nightmare. She had just up and left him over a year ago without so much as a goodbye.

Their marriage had been over months before, really for John, it had been over when Mary shot Sherlock, but they had continued on for Rosie’s sake, well that was the reason John had stayed. 

There had been no intimacy between them after Rosie’s first birthday, John couldn’t bring himself to live that much of a lie. It was one thing for them to live together so Rosie had both her parents, but John couldn’t go on pretending he still loved Mary. 

 

Still, Mycroft’s people were searching for her at John’s request, though he suspected that wasn’t the only reason Mycroft was searching for her. He just needed to know she was gone for good and that she wouldn't fight him for custody of Rosie. He was able to have the divorce annulled due to her marrying him with a false name. There was never a Mary Morstan except for the one that did not survive infancy and was buried in a small cemetery south of London.  

 

John caught a cab and gave the address Mycroft had sent him last night. Whitehall. What had Mycroft found that he needed to show John alone?  

 

**************************************

 

Sherlock heard the front door shut as John left the building. Just like that, the air was gone from the room. He walked over to the front windows to watch John enter a cab and stayed at the window until the cab turned the corner and disappeared from view. Checking his phone, he noted it would be three hours until John returned.   

 

“Erlock!” 

 

“Yes, my dear Rosie? There is no need to shout, I am right here.” Sherlock turned back towards his darling goddaughter. She looked so much like John as she came running in from the kitchen. 

 

“Erlock, you need to come see this, please.” Her face was so bright and excited. Sherlock secretly hoped she would never learn to say his name correctly. “Of course, lead the way, Watson.”

 

She quickly grabbed his hand and led him back to the table, pointing at the different things happening on the paper. He gladly went through each stage with her, explaining each step as she watched clinging to his words, her eyes open wide. 

 

He couldn’t resist taking a photo of her on his phone while she proudly stood by the experiment and sending the photo to John.  

 

Sent:

She has a gift for this. :) SH

 

Received:

Of course, she does. She takes after her godfather. :)

 

Sherlock tucked his phone away after receiving John’s message. Again, he wished John would take up his offer for both of them to move back to Baker Street. He missed them when they went back to Mary’s flat. Baker Street wasn’t really home without his two favourite Watsons. But John kept refusing, saying Sherlock needed his own space, free of a screaming toddler, plus some vague comment about if Sherlock started dating.

 

Sherlock didn’t understand John’s desire for him to date. He had everything he needed already. He had no desire to change the way things were. He was happy but not as happy as if they were living with him. What Sherlock wouldn’t give to have them both here every day. He didn't want to date other people, he had John. Not in the traditional way that one had a partner, but no one would ever come close to being what John was to him. Whether John wanted him or not. 

 

Sherlock rubbed his hand across his aching chest, trying to stop the pain pouring from his heart. Unrequited love hurt. 

 

At ten after six, Sherlock checked his phone for messages for John. There were none.

 

Six-thirty, he texted asking John if he was going to be later and if Sherlock should feed Rosie now. No response.

 

Five minutes to eight, Sherlock lay on the couch with Rosie, having fed them both. They were snuggled together watching a kids' show that she had picked out. 

He tried calling and texting John again with no answer. 

Worried he pulled up Mycroft’s number on his phone, sending a quick text. 

 

Sent:

Need the location of John. Has not returned. SH

 

Received:

Left here three hours ago. Stand by. MH 

 

Received:

His phone lost signal near Hyde Park. Checking CCTV now. MH 

 

Where are you, John?  Sherlock worried as he snuggled Rosie closer. Three hours ago you were almost here...

 

Chapter Text

3:20pm Tuesday afternoon.

 

“John, thank you for meeting me on short notice.” Mycroft turned from where he stood behind his desk to face John as he entered the office. 

 

“Yea, sure. What is so urgent, Mycroft?”  John questioned as he came to stop in front of the desk. 

 

“I have new information regarding the ex Mrs Watson.” 

 

John cringed at the mention of Mary. “Have you found her then?” 

 

“No, not completely, but we have narrowed down the possibilities.” 

 

“So what have you found then?”  

 

Mycroft paused before he continued. “John, you may not like what I am about to tell you, but precautions must be made.” 




9:10pm Tuesday night.

 

Sherlock finished tucking Rosie into the bed upstairs, after reading three stories and promising her that John would be back soon. He placed a small kiss on the top of her head as he watched her sleep. As he let his hand rest upon her curls for a moment, he marvelled at her trust in him. When told her daddy was running late and she would be staying there, she had thought about it for a moment then just asked if Sherlock could read her bedtime stories. 

 

Thankfully, John had put a few books in her bag and she had fallen asleep curled up against Sherlock’s side as he read. Sherlock couldn’t help how much love he felt for her and how much he wanted to protect her. Just like John. 

 

John….

 

He needed to find him, closing the bedroom door behind him, Sherlock stopped for a second, rubbing his hands over his face before going downstairs to the sitting room. 

 

As he entered the room, he found Mycroft finishing a phone call. “Any news?” He asked, making his way to the kitchen to start the kettle. Mycroft gave a small look of surprise before following him. 

 

“I trust the youngest Watson is safely asleep?” Mycroft inquired, moving to sit down at the table. 

 

“Yes, she is.” Sherlock readied two cups, measuring the tea, his back to Mycroft. 

 

“You are very calm, brother mine.” Mycroft’s voice was soft, yet filled with curiosity. 

 

“I have to be for...her…” Sherlock’s voice faltered at the last part. “She needs me to be strong, to be her godfather....” Sherlock paused. “Where is he, Mycroft? Please tell me you know?” As he slowly turned to face his brother, a tear slid down his cheek. 

 

“I am so sorry, Sherlock. We are searching. He… he was taken out of my sightlines. I have nothing.” Mycroft bowed his head before he continued. “We are talking with everyone who was in the area at that time who may have any insight as to what happened. We will find him, Sherlock.” 

 

“I want to see all the CCTV footage you have of John before he disappeared.” 

 

“I assumed,” Mycroft pulled an external harddrive from his inner jacket pocket, laying it on the table in front of Sherlock. “I have brought you everything, maybe you can find something my team missed.” 

 

Mycroft stood moving towards the door. “I am sorry, Sherlock. Do let me know if you need anything else or if you need any assistance with Rosie.” A sympathetic look crossed Mycroft’s face before he opened the door and walked out. 



Tuesday night, time unknown.

 

John stirred, unsure if he was really awake or not. Everything around him was pitch black, but he felt every part of his body aching. So awake then. Where the hell was he? What was that smell and who were the guys that jumped him? They had done a number on him. His head was pounding and he felt like his body had been used as a punching bag for several strong people.

 

John tried to move his arms but found he was bound at both his hands and feet. He felt the floor under him, the cold dampness said cement floor so most likely a basement. Sherlock’s voice came through his mind. What else John? What else can you tell from the musty smell and damp floor? 

“Nothing you berk,” John grumbled out loud. Sherlock could probably tell him where he was with less than that, but then he wasn’t Sherlock. 

 

Rosie! Thank god she was with Sherlock right now and not the babysitter. Sherlock would notice the second he was late bringing dinner and would be looking for him. He had no idea what time it was or how long he had been out for already. But Sherlock would find him. In that, he had no doubt…




2 am Wednesday morning

 

Sherlock had spent the last five hours reviewing all the footage that Mycroft had left him and there was nothing so far. He stood, throwing his laptop back down on the couch as he did. Frustrated, he paced the room, pulling at his hair. Nothing. There was nothing he could see that gave him a hint as to who took John. He had watched John walking back towards Baker Street from Angelo’s with the takeaway, only to have the cameras near the park go dark before he disappeared.

 

Sherlock yelled out in anger, he felt so useless. How was he going to find John at this rate?

He closed his eyes trying to control his breathing, melting down right now wouldn’t help John. He needed to clear his head, look at this from a different angle. As he turned back towards the couch, he could hear small footsteps on the stairs. 

 

“Erlock?” Her voice was ever so small. His heart tightened at the sound. He had to find John for her, she needed her father. 

 

“Yes, Rosie?” He walked to meet her at the door, picking her up carefully as she wrapped her arms around his neck. 

 

“Erlock, is daddy home yet?” She asked as he hugged her to his chest. 

 

“No darling, not yet.” Home… Did she think of Baker Street as home? Maybe she was just confused. Sherlock couldn’t help the way his heart leapt at her use of the word. “Why are you up? Did you need something?” 

 

Rosie pulled back to look at him. “I had a bad dream and it woke me,” She had small tears in her eyes as she clutched her teddy bear close. 

 

“Would you like to sleep on the couch while I play for you?” He asked gently. She nodded, he proceeded to help her get cosy on the couch before taking up his violin and playing softly until she drifted off. 

 

Sherlock stood in the front window, playing and thinking for almost two hours before he placed his violin in its case and settled in his chair to catch a few hours before she woke and needed him again. Where are you, John? What happened? Why can’t I find anything?

His dreams were filled with different scenarios of things that could have happened to John. His mind raced from one to the next, never stopping until he woke up with a start and tears in his eyes.



Sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. 

 

John lay half awake, half asleep, unsure what time of day it was. His body felt worse than before from spending however long on this floor. He could hear movement on the floor above him, someone was waking, moving about. A door opened behind him and a shadow fell across where he lay, from what he could tell it was the shape of a man. Though it was hard to tell as his eyes were having trouble focusing. He tried to roll over towards the person for a better look but found that he was chained to a wall about a foot out of reach in front of him. Damn. What did these people want? He had nothing. No money, if that is what they were after they would be disappointed. 




 

Chapter Text

8:30 Wednesday morning.

 

“Yoo-hoo, Sherlock deary?” Mrs Hudson popped in the door just as Sherlock finished placing pancakes in front of Rosie. The little girl had continuously asked him since waking when her daddy would be back and Sherlock was barely holding himself together, trying to remain positive and calm for her.  

 

“Good morning, Mrs Hudson. What can I do for you?” He tried to keep the tears out of his voice for all of their sakes. 

 

“Oh honey, is there anything I can do? Would you like me to watch Rosie for a while?” 

 

“How do you know??” Sherlock looked at her for a moment. “Mycroft called you, didn’t he?”

 

“Well, yes dear. We are all worried. Told him I would pop up here and give you some time to go meet with him.” She started fussing around the room, cleaning up the mess Sherlock had made while making breakfast. “You just run along and Rosie and I will spend some time together. Won’t we, sweetheart?” 

 

Rosie smiled at Mrs Hudson, before turning to where Sherlock stood. “Don’t worry Erlock, Nana and I will be good. You can go see Uncle Myke.” She slid out of her seat and walked over to him, reaching her hands up to be lifted so she could hug him. 

 

As he held her close, she whispered. “Make sure you bring daddy home with you.” With that, she kissed his cheek and wiggled her way out of his arms to run to Mrs Hudson. 

 

“Off you go, there’s a good lad.” Both ladies waved as he grabbed for his coat and scarf. 

 

“Make sure the doors are all locked and answer them for no one. Understand?” 

 

Of course dear,” Mrs Hudson made a shooing wave with her hand before Rosie and she went back to straighten the kitchen. 

 

As he started down the stairs, he could hear Rosie talking about the wonderful pancakes he had made, even if he had made a mess. God, he loved that little girl as if she were his own.

 

Closing the door tightly behind him, he waved down a cab, climbing in, he gave the address of Mycroft’s office. 



Wednesday morning-ish 

 

From where John lay chained to the wall, he could not watch the man approach, only listen to his footsteps. Once John could tell the man was right behind him, he took his chance and heaved his body as much as he could at the man. The man cursed but was able to dodge him. 

 

“Feeling feisty this morning are we.” The man grunted, throwing a swift boot into John’s side. John curled his body as small as he could trying to protect his organs, while the man laid a few more kicks into John. “That will teach you.” He spat as John groaned under the kicks.   

 

“Here,” He threw a bottle of water at John. “May want to use it sparingly. Don’t know when you will get more.” He chuckled. “Especially after trying to knock me down. I don’t have the keys if that’s what you are after.” 

John didn’t respond, he made no move towards the bottle. Inside his body was crying out from the kicks to his ribs, after a night on this floor, his body had been in pain already and the kicks were just icing on the cake. Provoking the man was not the best idea, but it was a chance he took. 

 

He lay waiting until the man checked his chains and left the room. Once he heard the door close, he moved to find the bottle of water, taking a small drink. When he was finished, he set the bottle near the wall then started feeling the chains, testing how they were hooked to the wall. What he wouldn’t give for some light right now. It made no difference whether his eyes were open or closed at this point, so he closed them, relying on his other senses. 

 

He wondered how long before the person in charge showed up to talk to him. This man was clearly just the muscle, not the brains. As he strained his ears to pick up anything he could, he noted that the man “for lack of a name, let’s call him Anderson” John thought, could be heard moving around above him. There were multiple muffled voices. So two people at least. 

 

John couldn’t decide if it was another muscle or the brains that “Anderson” was speaking with. He could hear nothing of the outside, no cars, trains, buses passing. Besides the noise from above, the rest was a void. 

 

His thoughts turned to Rosie and Sherlock and how they would be handling him not returning. Hopefully, Sherlock would soon be hot on his trail, but John wasn’t going to just wait and see. He moved to try and pull the chains from the wall, testing their strength. 

 

More noise from upstairs stopped him for a minute, rhythmic thumping could be heard. By the sounds “Anderson” was most likely getting lucky. John tried to tune the sounds out, he didn’t really want to listen to the man that just kicked the shit out of him, fucking someone.   

 

Please hurry Sherlock. I need you...



9:15 Wednesday morning.

 

Sherlock stopped in front of Anthea’s desk before entering his brother’s office. “Good morning, Anthea. How are you feeling? Four months to go yet, correct?” 

 

His brother’s PA looked up from her computer, her round belly almost touching the desk in front of her. “Morning Sherlock. Yes, you would be right. Though I am quite ready for her to get here.” She smiled up at him. 

 

“I hear that is what most mothers think,” Sherlock continued, nodding his head towards the door. “Is my brother ready for me?” 

 

“Yes, you can go right in. I am sorry about John. I hope you are able to find him quickly.” Her voice was filled with sympathy. 

 

Sherlock merely nodded to her then opened the door to Mycroft’s office, walking through to find Mycroft at his desk and Greg waiting in a chair.   

 

“Mycroft. Lestrade. What have you learned? Anything new?” Sherlock sat in the chair next to Greg, across from Mycroft. 

 

“Sherlock, this was delivered to my office this morning.” Mycroft lifted an envelope from his desk, passing it to him. 

 

Sherlock's hand shook slightly as he reached for the envelope with his name on it. “Why was it delivered to you and not to Baker Street? Have you opened it?” 

 

“We are not sure. No, brother, I have left that for you.” Mycroft eased forward to lean his arms on his desk. “What does it say?” 

 

Sherlock opened the letter, pulling the paper-free.

 

Dearest Sherlock,

I believe you are missing something that you believe belongs to you. 

Have no fear I am taking great care of him. 

Well, he may not see it that way, but then we have always disagreed. 

You have what I want. Bring her to me or John will suffer.

Will send further instructions.

Tell Mycroft not to bother as he has found out I can easily slip 

around in this city. 

Talk soon. 

Mary



“Mycroft…” The letter slipped from Sherlock’s fingers to fall at his feet. 

 

Chapter Text

9:20 Wednesday morning

 

Bring her to me. Bring her to me. The words kept replaying in Sherlock’s mind. Bring her to me or John will suffer. No! John would never want him to give Mary, his daughter, even if it meant he would suffer. No, Sherlock needed to keep Rosie safe and save John as well. 

 

His mind slid back to the present to find Mycroft and Greg analysing the letter. 

 

“Sherlock, how do you want to go about this?” Greg pointed at the letter. “I mean John would never be okay with this.” 

 

“I know that,” Sherlock stated. “Obviously, I need to find John without her knowing I am looking and protect Rosie at the same time.” 

 

“I can help with that,” Mycroft spoke up. 

 

“Which part? She already made it known she can get around without you seeing.” Sherlock was having a hard time keeping the anger out of his voice. It really wasn’t Mycroft’s fault that John was taken and Mary was now trying to take his goddaughter too.   

 

“Sherlock, if you want to go after John. I would protect Rosie for you. With my life, if need be. Greg and I both would.” Mycroft looked towards his husband, who was nodding in agreement. 

 

“Thank you both. I need to think… to plan…” Sherlock stood and strode out the door already completely lost in his mind. 



Wednesday Sometimes. 

 

Quiet. So quiet. John strained his ears to hear anything. The house must be empty. 

He started yanking on the chains with everything he had. He tried bracing his feet against the wall and pulling. When that didn’t work, he went back to trying to slip his hands-free. From what he could tell his hands were bound with a zip tie and held with one chain and his ankles were bound the same with another chain. Clever. That way he couldn’t bring his feet up to untie with his hands. Not that one can untie a zip tie, but still. 

 

John could feel his wrists start to bleed as he continued to try and free his hands. Moving to his feet for a while, John tried bringing his feet as close to the wall as he could, then throwing them against the end of the chain. After what seemed like forever, John was able to break the zip tie around his ankles, though he could feel the cuts left behind from his actions. 

 

Now, with his feet free, John could put all of his strength on one chain and the tie holding his wrists. John conjured up all the power he had left and after several (million) tries, he felt the chain give way and come loose. 

 

Free!  

 

John carefully stood with his arms outstretched. He slowly manoeuvred his way towards where the door should be if he remembered correctly. Hoping to god it wouldn’t be locked when he got there.

 

Door handle. Test knob. Not locked. Thank god. 

 

John opened the door as quietly as he could, the light blinding him. As he used a hand to shield his eyes, he could hear a chuckle from his right side. 

 

“Well, well aren't we just an escape artist.” That voice was not Anderson’s. 

 

Mary… John’s heart sunk. This was bad




10:40 Wednesday Morning.

 

Sherlock reached Baker Street in a daze. His mind was working overtime, trying to come up with a plan to save them all.   

He mounted the stairs, so lost in his mind that he didn’t notice the flat was unusually quiet for Rosie and Mrs H. Opening the door, he came face to face with John’s Sig and Mrs Hudson’s steady hand. 

 

“Oh, Sherlock! I was so worried that someone was here for Rosie. Mycroft called me about the letter. Why didn’t you call out?” She lowered the gun, turning towards the kitchen before calling for Rosie, who was hiding in Sherlock’s room under the bed apparently.

 

“Forgive me, I was thinking.” Sherlock took off his coat and scarf just in time to catch Rosie as she rounded the corner and leapt into his arms.  

 

“Erlock! Nana and I were playing hide and seek! I won!” She clapped her hands before throwing her arms around his neck for a hug. 

 

“That’s wonderful, Watson.” He gave her a squeeze then set her down. “Shall we work on another experiment after lunch?” 

 

“Oh! Yes please!” She started jumping up and down, yelling for her Nana. “Nana, Nana! Erlock and I are going to do another Aspearmint!” 

 

“An Experiment deary,” Mrs Hudson corrected. “Sherlock, if you need me, I’m right downstairs.” She gave his arm a squeeze before walking out the door and down the stairs. 

 

“Erlock?” 

“Yes, Rosie?” Sherlock turned to face his goddaughter, who suddenly had a very serious look to her. 

 

“Erlock? Where’s daddy? I thought you were going to bring him home?” She stood there all 30 inches of her, with a look he had only ever seen on John’s face. 

 

What to tell her… Sherlock wanted to reassure her, promise her daddy would be home soon, but he didn’t know that. He didn’t know what was going to happen with John. 

 

“Rosie, come sit with me for a minute.” Sherlock leads her to the couch, sitting next to her, angling his body to face her. “You know that I would do anything for you and your daddy, right?”

 

“Yup,” She smiled up at him, her eyes filled with trust. 

 

“I have to go pick up your daddy, he is… well, he was taking care of something for Uncle Myke.” 

 

“He is? Is he doing something important, Erlock?” Her eyes were wide. 

 

“Yes, very important. Soon I have to go get him and you are going to go stay with Uncle Myke and Uncle Greg for a little bit. Is that okay?”  He watched her think it over before nodding her head. 

 

“Can I bring my books for Uncle Myke and Uncle Greg to read at night?” 

 

“Of course, sweetheart.” He pulled her close to hug her, trying to keep the tears at bay. 

God please, let him find John and bring him home to both of them. We need you, John. We need you. 



Wednesday, the time unimportant. 

 

Mary. John could feel her in the room, his eyes still not adjusting to the light. He tried to open them, to see where she was, but they burned and kept closing instead. 

 

“Oh, John, aren’t you happy to see me?” Her laughter was dark. “I know you have been looking for me. Miss me already? Sherlock, not enough for you, is he?” The way she said Sherlock’s name made the pit of his stomach turn.  

 

“Mary.” He kept his voice flat, even though he wanted to wring her neck. His eyes were slowly adjusting, he could see her now. The shape of her anyways, leaning back in a chair to the right, maybe 15 feet from where he stood. She was between him and the door from what he could see and she appeared to be unarmed.

 

“Don’t even think about it, John or you will ruin half of my plan.” She smirked. “Though I could be flexible.” 

 

Only half of her plan? What was her plan? Who did she want if it would still be okay with him dead? Rosie? Sherlock? Please neither, he couldn’t lose either. He would rather die here than lose Rosie or Sherlock. Please forgive me, I love you both…

 

Chapter Text

11:30 Wednesday 

 

Sherlock finished his call to Mycroft before starting lunch for him and Rosie; she always ate more if he ate with her. She was so much like her father, but this...this was like him. Sherlock always ate if John and now Rosie were eating with him. 

 

As they ate, Sherlock wondered how long it would take for Mary to reach out with a meeting point for Rosie. He assumed it would be sooner rather than later. Though how to make sure she thought he was bringing Rosie with him was the trick part… Would she have him meet her wherever she was keeping John? Most likely not… He needed to make sure that wherever they met, John was there. This was only going to work if he had surprise on his side and John was close by. 

 

Sherlock was brought out of his head at the sound of crashing downstairs. Suddenly on full alert, he turned to Rosie. 

 

“Hey, let’s play a game of hide and seek, shall we? I will count and you hide?” He tried to keep his voice very calm. 

 

“Oh ok!” Rosie jumped from the table. “No peeking!” She scrambled from the room. 

 

Sherlock rose from the table, counting out loud as he moved towards the door, somewhere in the sitting room, Mrs Hudson had left John’s gun and he had a feeling he was going to need it. The footsteps loudly began ascended the stars, one male, heavyset, favouring his right leg. Sherlock hoped that Mrs H was unharmed and that Mycroft still had hidden cameras in the flat.

 

Just in case he didn’t, Sherlock sent out a quick SOS text, hoping Mycroft would hurry. He waited just inside the kitchen, facing the sitting room ready to spring at whoever walked through the door. As the footsteps stopped, he felt his body tense, there was no knock just a slow sound of a key sliding in and the door creaking open. 

 

For a brief moment, he thought maybe John was home, but the footsteps had been wrong--so they had John’s key and they were not here for a cup of tea. As he moved towards the man entering the sitting-room he heard the door in the kitchen started to open. No! There were two of them? How had he missed that?  

Whipping his body back towards the noise in the kitchen, he felt a needle pierce his skin from behind. As the world around him went dark and he began to sink to the floor, he could hear a scream from Rosie. NO! Leave her alone! Please leave her alone...




Wednesday Morning. Clock to his left read 10:05. 

 

John gave the room a quick glance before deciding to risk everything - there seemed to be no Anderson about though that wouldn't have stopped him anyway. John quickly made his move towards Mary with everything he had. It was now or never. Please be safe Sherlock, take care of my Rosie. 

 

John felt the taser sting him before he even had time to get halfway to her. Where had that been hiding? His fuzzy brain was no friend of his today. This was going to be painful

 

“Oh John, did you really think I wouldn’t be prepared for this?” He could barely hear her laughing over the pain, before blacking out. 

 


++

 

John woke sometime later, his head pounding from the taser. A groan slipped from his lips as he rubbed his hands over his eyes before opening them to find himself once again back in the dark and bound. He tested his movements and found he was sitting against the wall with a chain length that was less than half of what it was before, giving him no room to brace against the wall this time. No chance to repeat his escape. Now what… 

 

His body was weak from the electricity that had coursed through his body, parts still tingled. He let out a frustrated growl. From somewhere in the dark came a quiet answering groan, as someone else in the room woke. 

 

John froze, listening intently to any sounds around him. He held his breath and squinted in the dark, hoping to make out who else now occupied this room. Another groan and shuffle came from his left, putting the person only a few feet from him. 

 

He kept quiet unsure if he should alert the other person to his position. Then came a voice that was unmistakably one of two people he loved dearly. 

 

“John?”

 

“Oh god, Sherlock? Is that you?” 

 

There was another bit of movement and a groan before Sherlock answered. “Yes.” 

 

“No…” John’s heart fell. “Sherlock, Where is Rosie? Please tell me she is safe.” 

 

“I don’t know,” Came a whisper.

 

“Sherlock, where is Rosie!?” John could feel the panic and desperation rising in his voice.

 

“I don’t know, John!” Sherlock cried, his voice broken. “I don’t know…”  

 

John let out his own angry sob, his heartbreaking. Dear Lord, please don’t let his sweet baby girl be in Mary’s grip. Please let her be safe. 

During the time that Mary had been in their lives, she had not been what one would call nurturing. She had always had other things on her mind. She was always out with friends or “working” sometimes gone for days on end. It was like she was gone long before she ever left.

 

“I am so sorry, John.” John could hear the tears in Sherlock’s voice. “I tried to protect her, I did.”

 

“I know, Sherlock. Whatever happened, I am sure you did your best.” John couldn’t stand the broken sound of Sherlock’s voice. He wanted to find him in the dark and hold him close, ease the guilt they both were feeling. Mary had gotten to them all, no one was safe at this point. He could only hope that Rosie was with Mycroft and not Mary. Please lord, John sent a silent plea

 

The door to the rest of the house opened swiftly, pouring light into the room, John shielded his eyes, watching Mary enter the room and flip the lights on.  John caught a glimpse of Sherlock to his left curled on the floor, chained to the wall the same as him. He was struggling to sit up to face her as well.

 

“Well, well, my boys are here. So wonderful to see you both together.” Her laughter filled the room with a chill. “Well, not in that way, I suppose.” She smirked at John with a pointed look. 

 

John just glared back at her, keeping his eyes from looking at Sherlock.

 

“Oh Johnny, did Sherlock not want a broken man like you after all? All that work to be single again and all that pining for nothing. How deliciously wonderful.” She snickered at him with the most sinister look. “We are going to have so much fun together, the three of us. Well the three of us plus a few others. But don’t worry I will take great care of you, well that’s not really true, but just to ensure you both play by my rules, I have taken a little insurance by the name of Rosamund Mary.”

 

John growled out in anger, he could hear Sherlock do the same, both pulling against the chains that held them... Mary just stood there smiling like a cat that ate the canary.

John glared at her from where he sat, his insides tearing apart over Mary’s statement that she had Rosie. He wanted to break free and stop her before she could hurt Rosie or Sherlock. 

 

“That’s not her name,” His voice was filled with anger. Mary had made sure that Rosie was named while he was out of the room, to ensure she got to name her after herself. They had fought over names for weeks and John had been furious that she had gone behind his back. “And you will stay away from her, Mary or so help I will end you.”

Chapter Text

Wednesday Evening. 

 

Sherlock woke in a dark room, with a pounding headache from the drugs they had injected in his neck. As he tried to clear the fog from his mind, he quickly became aware that he was not alone and John was with him. Also that Rosie was not and he had no idea where she was. As the guilt of failing both John and Rosie was threatening to swallow him whole, Mary had made her grand entrance into the room and dropped hints that John was hiding feelings for him. Him… Maybe she was lying? John won’t look his way after she said it, so chances were high she was lying and John was upset. 

 

Sherlock was reviewing what she had said when John stated that Rosie’s name was different. When had that happened? And what was her name now? Why hadn’t John told him? Were they not best friends? Was she not his goddaughter? Didn’t John think that Sherlock would want to know this? 

 

Sherlock fought to keep the emotions off his face, as Mary was still in the room and John was still speaking. 

 

“I figured after you left her without so much as a goodbye and basically give up all parental rights, that you didn’t deserve to have her named after you. I was against it from the beginning anyway, so I had Mycroft help me change it.” John had a smug look as he seemed to challenge her from where he sat. “Her name is Rose Kathrine Sherlock Watson.”

 

“YOU CHANGED MY DAUGHTER’S NAME FROM MINE TO YOUR MOTHER’S AND HIS!!” Mary screamed, pointing at Sherlock. “I will make you pay for that, John! Just you wait!” She flew from room slamming the door shut behind her. 

 

“Do you believe it wise to taunt her, when she has Rosie?” Sherlock asked quietly. Inside Sherlock couldn’t breathe, his heart had stopped beating for a moment before it came rushing back beating faster then he could breathe. He was glad Mary had turned off the lights again when she left. He didn’t want John to see the emotions that were screaming across his face at the thought that John had named his only daughter after him. 

 

“Not my best idea, but well, yea, that just kind of happened…” 

 

Taking a chance, Sherlock decided he had to know. “Can I ask you why John? Why you, uhm, named her after me... I...I don’t really know what to say...But why me, John?” Sherlock wished that he could just see John’s face, to read what was displayed there. He was very curious to know why this wonderful man would choose to name his daughter after him. 

 

“Were you going to tell me? Or did you not want me to know?” Sherlock continued.

 

“No, I just found out it was taken care of, and of course I was going to tell you, Sherlock.” John paused. “I did it because.. Uhm well, you are special to us both and more a part of her life than anyone else.” John cleared his throat. “I was going to tell you when I got back with takeaway but, well, this happened. Is that okay? I wanted to surprise you, I guess… Sherlock?” 

 

Sherlock didn’t even know where to begin. What did he say to that? His first thought was I love you. But that wasn’t a good idea. No matter what Mary had said. 

 

“Of course it is okay, John. I am honoured that you wanted to give your daughter my name.” His voice cracked. “I just never thought--” 

 

Before he could finish his sentences, the door opened once more and lights flooded through the room. 

 

“I hope I am not interrupting anything boys. Well, not really.” Mary smirked as she walked back into the room, seemingly calmer with two men in tow.  “Were you enjoying an intimate moment? Well, as much as you can chained to a wall.” She chuckled dryly. 

 

Sherlock glanced quickly at John, before looking back at Mary. This wasn’t good. He could read it off her like an open book, she was going to hurt John and badly. 

 

His mind was screaming No! Don’t! You can’t! He turned his head towards John looking him straight in the eyes. “John.” It came out like a sad plea. 

 

********************************

 

John was surprised by Sherlock saying his name in such a way. Was he seeing something that John couldn’t? Sherlock’s eyes were almost wild looking as he stared at John. What was Mary up to? Her eyes were gleaming at him, as she had entered with “Anderson” and some other muscle. 

 

“What are you up to, Mary? Why are you doing all of this? What do you want?” John asked. Whatever she had planned, it wasn’t good from the look on Sherlock’s face. John decided that maybe, just maybe talking to her would buy him some time. For what, he wasn’t sure, but it had to be better than what she was about to do.  

 

“Oh John, wouldn't you like to know? I am afraid I don’t feel like telling you right now. Pity I do hate to ruin your charming face, but then again.” She didn’t finish her thought and instead turned to the other two behind her. “Bill, grab that chair and help Jerry get him.” 

 

John could see Sherlock fighting with his chains and ties out of the corner of his eye. There was an angry determined look on his face now. 

 

“Oh Sherlock, I wouldn’t if I were you.” Mary scolded him from where she stood. “You will only make me angrier and I will have to hurt him more.” 

 

John heard Sherlock let out a string of curses, before stopping his movements. He watched out the corner of his eye as Sherlock tried controlling himself while glaring at Mary. A feeling of dread passed over John. He was no stranger to pain, the bullet hole in his shoulder was proof of that. There were other scars too. Ones he never talked about, from the time he spent captured in Afghanistan. Mary knew about them, having seen them, but John never talked to her about them. Now, Sherlock would know too.  

 

It wasn’t that he was trying to keep them from Sherlock, it just hadn’t come up. 

 

Bill and Jerry had gotten the chair set up next to Mary and were now headed his way. John tried to steel himself against the impending pain he knew was coming. His chains were unlocked and he was brutally picked up from the floor and manhandled to the chair. Though he struggled against the men, his body was weak from the beating he got when they took him, plus the kicks from Bill and being tasered as well. 

 

He could barely stand by himself without help. As they moved him, he could feel Sherlock’s eyes cataloguing the damage he had already sustained. The men were not gentle as they pushed him into the chair and zip-tied his hands and ankles to it. He tugged against the bindings with no luck. 

 

“Oh John, now the real fun will begin.” Mary stood just behind him, her hand clutching the back of his hair, her lips whispering intimately in his ear. She seemed to be watching Sherlock as she spoke. “How do you think your loverboy will handle what I am about to do to you? Maybe you should tell me that you don’t love him or I will hurt him next and after that maybe Rosie.” 

 

John gritted his teeth, before grinding out quietly, his heartbreaking in the process. “I do not love him.” 

 

“What was that, John?” She stepped in front of him, smiling. “I don’t think we all heard you. Why don’t you say that again and louder for the people chained to the wall.” 

 

“I do not love Sherlock.” John spat out, staring her dead in the eyes. Not daring to look in Sherlock’s direction even a little bit.

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock felt the words slam against him. John didn’t love him. He knew this already but to hear the words out loud from the one man he would ever love made it too real. His heart broke, the last few pieces that had been left still holding out hope that someday John might love him, crumbled. There it was plain and simple, John didn’t love him. 

 

John wouldn’t even look at him, he was staring at Mary with such anger in his eyes. Like the thought of her thinking, he could love Sherlock made him angry. Sherlock willed his face to look blank, hiding away all the emotions and pain that those words had brought to the surface. 

Mary was enjoying every moment. First, she made it seem like John had feelings for Sherlock, now this. Maybe that was why John was saying he didn't love Sherlock because Mary said he did and he wanted to make it clear there was nothing there. They were just friends, maybe still best friends as John had given Rosie Sherlock’s name. 

 

Before he could give it more thought, Mary was talking again. 

 

“Now that we have that out of the way, John. Thank you, by the way.” She was walking around him, her hand grazing over his shoulder and around his back. “How about we get a bit more comfortable.” 

 

She moved to a table that sat against the wall by the stairs, where there seemed to be several items laying across the top. Sherlock couldn’t see what they were from where he sat leaning on the opposite wall. She appeared to find what she was looking for as a smile crossed her lips. Sherlock took this time to observe her. She showed signs of malnutrition as though the last year has been hard. Her face was sucked in at the cheeks and her hair was cut shorter than she normally wore it. She was dressed much like she had the night she shot Sherlock, black from head to toe. Though she was not wearing a hat this time. The thought made Sherlock rub his chest unconsciously where the bullet entered his body, the spot still ached when the weather got particularly cold. 

 

Mary turned from the table, moving back towards John. In her hand, she held a knife. The blade was 6 inches long and sharp enough to cut through anything like butter. From what Sherlock observed, it was John’s skin she was after. She proceeded to stand in front of John again, so he could see what she was holding. 

 

“Shall the fun begin, John?” She had a wicked gleam to her smile. “Bill, Jerry, leave. I want to enjoy this moment.” 

 

Both men gave the impression they would rather stay and watch, but left at her command, closing the door behind them. 

 

“Ah, peace at last. Just the three of us. Where shall we start? I think first you have far too many clothes on, John. Let us fix that.” She stepped around him, first cutting the front of his jumper before running the knife up both sleeves thoroughly removing the shirt from his body. “That works for now.” 

 

Sherlock felt his skin crawling, he wanted to break free and stop her before she could hurt John. He tried quietly to pull at his ties, maybe he could just get one hand free. 

 

“Sherlock, what did I say?” He looked up to see Mary watching him with her knife against John’s chest. “I recall telling you to stop or I would hurt him more.” 

 

He stopped his movements, berating himself inside his head. She was paying closer attention to every slight move he made while standing next to John. Sherlock glanced at John to find he was still not looking at Sherlock, he had his eyes fixed on the wall in front of him. Sherlock could see a silent battle going on inside his head. 

 

Once Mary was satisfied that Sherlock wasn't going to try anything, she turned her attention back to John. “Now then, let us add to your collection shall we,” 

 

She slowly ran her knife across his back. Sherlock watched as John winced at the pain, gritting his teeth. John was facing Sherlock, so he could not see what she was doing to his back or what she meant by John’s collection. Did he have other scars besides the bullet wound on his left shoulder? Sherlock had never been privy to John’s naked torso. When they had lived together before everything went south, John had always been covered, never walking through the flat in just a towel or sheet-like Sherlock had.

 What Sherlock could see were bruises that lined John’s ribs, telling a story of two beatings. One done with fists, most likely when he was first taken and the second from a boot while lying on the ground. Given the pattern, Bill was the apparent candidate to have kicked John. He would be dealt with as soon as Sherlock got free. That was a promise.   

 

Whatever Mary was doing was getting worse, John was starting to lose his ability to stay quiet. With each slice of her blade, the pain tore across his face until the screams were no longer silent. 

 

Sherlock’s heart wrenched at every sound that left John, finally, he could no longer stay quiet even with the fear she would hurt John worse. 

 

“STOP! You will kill him at this rate!”

 

Mary looked up from where she was cutting, the manic look in her eyes said she might just keep going, uncaring what happened. There was a pause, a moment when Sherlock wasn’t sure which way she would go before she stepped back and replaced the knife on the table. 

 

He watched as John slipped from conscious to unconscious, the only thing keeping him upright in the chair was the ties. Mary stood by the table surveying her handiwork before heading for the stairs. 

 

“You can’t leave him like this!” Sherlock called out. 

 

She stopped, walking back towards him until they were face to face. 

 

“Yes, I can. Who is going to stop me? You? I don’t think so. John is mine to do with as I please. Anyways, John doesn’t want you, he pities you. He is your friend but only because he has no one else right now and he gave Rosmound your name because he knew it would hurt me. Not because he loved you. If he did, he would move back to Baker Street. This is all about me. Has been since I met him. You will do well to remember who is in charge here, Sherlock. There will be no happy endings for you. Remember that,” she hissed at him then proceeded to leave the room. This time the lights were left on. 

 

In the silence, Sherlock could not only see but hear the slow drip of blood that was running down John’s back to the chair and falling to the floor. 

 

John…Even if he never loved Sherlock and did only pity him. Sherlock still needed to get them all out of this for Rosie’s sake. Even if John took Rosie and walked away and Sherlock never saw them again, he had to save them from this hellhole. Rosie deserved to have her father, even if it meant Sherlock lost them both…



Chapter Text

Chapter 8

Time and day unknown

 

John remembered every part of his body screaming before the pain became too much and he fell into unconsciousness. There his mind floated away to a painless peaceful place. 

 

Baker Street. 

 

John sank into his comfy lived-in red chair as he watched Sherlock playing his violin in front of the window. The melody was one of his favourites, yet the name escaped him. He sat just enjoying the sound and the graceful way Sherlock swayed with the music, the blue dressing gown swishing from side to side as he played. John wondered if Sherlock knew how truly beautiful he was or if he had no idea how many heads he turned just walking down the street. 

 

The music continued to fill the air around him with peace until Sherlock just stopped. There was no movement, no anything. Like Sherlock was frozen in time, violin still tucked under his chin, bow still in hand. 

 

“Sherlock?” John leaned forward in his chair. “You okay?”  

 

Nothing. No sound, no movement. John tried to stand from the chair to go to Sherlock, but he couldn’t move his arms. Looking down, John could see he was tied to his chair and there was blood everywhere. 

 

“Sherlock?!” 

 

From his left, he heard footsteps. “Oh John, can’t you see he doesn’t care about you?” Mary stated as she moved through the room, to stand between them. “He is a sociopath, after all, high functioning, sure, but still a sociopath and he will never love you the way  you love him.” 

 

“You’re wrong. Sherlock is the most caring, loving person in my life! Now untie me!” 

 

“Sorry, can’t do that, I am not done with you yet!” Mary reached out with a right hook catching him right across the cheek. 

 

John reopened his eyes and spit blood from his mouth. Baker Street had faded away and he was back in the basement, tied to a wooden chair with Mary in front of him. 

 

“Morning sleepy, thought I would give you a hand waking up. Or a fist in this case.” She laughed at her own joke.  

 

John looked past her to where Sherlock had been chained up, only to find it empty. She followed his gaze. “Oh don’t worry, I’m taking great care of him, well Bill and Jerry are.” She laughed again causing John’s insides to curdle at the sound. 

 

“What are you doing with him? Or any of us for that matter? Where is Rosie?” John tried to focus on something other than the pain he felt across his whole body. 

 

“Aren’t you all of a sudden curious. You know what they say about curiosity, John. It killed the cat.” Her grin reminded John of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. 

 

“I’ll take my chances.” 

 

“I hate to disappoint you, but I am not ready to share that information just yet. First, I want to check out my handiwork.” She rounded the chair and stepped behind him. 

 

He winced as she pressed her fingers against the wounds on his back. From what he could tell she must have bandaged them up partly, most likely only to keep him from bleeding out. Either she was done torturing him or she wasn’t ready for him to die just yet.  

 

She came back in front of him, leaning in closely, whispering. “I have missed you, John.” She had her hands in his hair and her lips pressed to his in the blink of an eye. John tried to move his head away but she held him in place. 

 

Pulling back, she ran her middle finger across her slightly parted lips. “Just like I remember.” Looking past him towards the door, she smiled. “Ah, Sherlock is back. Just in time.” 

 

John could only imagine how much Sherlock had seen of Mary kissing him. With everything Mary had been saying and making him say and now kissing him, he would be lucky if Sherlock was still speaking to him by the time they got free. 

 

He watched as Bill and Jerry dragged Sherlock back across the room. His head was hung forward, his jacket was gone and his white shirt showed blood splatter. What had they done to him? John pulled against his restraints, the best he could, his body had grown weaker with the beatings and blood loss. 

 

When the “soon to be dead men” dropped Sherlock on the floor unceremoniously, Sherlock cried out. John felt the rage boiling to the surface once more despite the pain.  

 

“What did you do to him?” John growled out.

 

“Oh John, relax. The boys were just having some fun with him. Weren’t you?” She turned to the men, smiling and kissing both. 

 

John turned to Sherlock, who hadn’t moved a muscle since they dropped him against the wall. If Sherlock hadn’t made that sound when they dropped him, John would be worried that he was dead right now. 

 

Mary and the men moved towards the stairs before she stopped. “Best tie that one up.” She nodded at Sherlock. 

 

Bill grunted. “He ain’t going anywhere, not after that. We have some time.” He pulled Mary close again, kissing and grabbing at her. Mary giggled and let them lead her from the room. 

 

John was thankful that they forgot to turn off the lights as they left. He gave them a few minutes before calling out to Sherlock. “Sherlock? Sherlock, are you okay?”  

 

Sherlock groaned before rolling to face John. “Not good, but I will live.” He eased himself into a sitting position, giving John a view of the damage done. 

 

From what John could see, it looked as though several fists had come in contact with Sherlock’s face and upper body. He had blood running from cuts on his cheek, eyebrow and mouth. 

 

“It’s not as bad as it looks, John.” Sherlock gingerly touched the corner of his mouth before trying to stand. His legs seemed unsure if they could hold him and it took several tries before he stood fully. Though he was hunched over with an arm wrapped around his middle as he leaned against the wall. 

 

“Sherlock…” 

 

“Yes, John. Give me a moment and I will get you free.” Sherlock slowly made his way to the table by the stairs, lifting something from there and shuffling back to John. “Hold still.” 

 

John felt Sherlock cut his ties and at the last moment realized that those ties were all that was keeping him upright. As he was freed, he fell forward only to be caught by Sherlock’s good arm. 

 

“Come on, John. Lean on me. We need to get out of here.” Sherlock held most of John’s weight as they made their way to the stairs. 

 

“Sherlock, you need to leave me here and go find Rosie. We can’t leave without her.” 

 

“I would never leave her behind, John.” Sherlock sounded upset that John would think that.

 

“I know you wouldn’t. But I will slow you down. You can be sneakier without me. You have to save her.” 

 

“I can save you both!” Sherlock pleaded. 

 

“Sherlock, please do this for me. Please?” John slumped against the stairs, staring up at Sherlock, hoping he would understand. 

 

“John, please don’t make me.”

 

“You are better off going alone.” 

 

“I promised her that I would bring you home..” Sherlock whispered. 

 

“Go, Sherlock. Please. Now. Find Rosie and get her to safety first.” John argued. 


Sherlock scowled at John before moving up the stairs and through the door. John lay on the stairs for a moment more before beginning to crawl up towards the door. As he reached the top there was a shout and then a single gunfire. Oh god no! SHERLOCK!

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

Time unknown. Date unknown.

 

John fought his way up the rest of the stairs, trying to stand once he reached the top. He wanted to scream for Sherlock after hearing the gunfire, but his voice wouldn't work. There was nothing, no sound. John was able to get his feet under him, leaning heavily against the door to the kitchen. His body felt like it was on fire, from the bruises to the cuts, everything reminded him of Mary’s cruelty. 

He wanted to erase her from his mind but each movement no matter how small brought back the feeling of her knife slicing through his skin. He clung to the wall, willing his feet to hold him and move as well. 

The lack of food and blood loss was making itself known as he stood, his head swirled as his vision dimmed. 

 

“John!” Sherlock appeared at his side as he slumped against the wall. 

 

“Sherlock, Rosie?” John slurred. 

 

“I can’t find her, John. I can’t find her.” Sherlock’s voice was desperate. “Mary is gone, so is Bill. Jerry is dead. She isn’t here. I don’t know that she ever was.”  

 

John watched his vision go dark. The last sounds were Sherlock calling his name and pleading for him to be okay. Because we need you, John. We need you. 



8:40 Monday Night

Sherlock shifted his position in the chair beside John’s hospital bed. Two days. John had been out for two days. The doctors had said this was normal for the amount of blood John lost and going without food for over four and a half days. Sherlock knew it had been longer than that as John had skipped lunch on the Tuesday he was taken. 

 

Sherlock pulled his legs up on the seat, wrapping his arms around his knees before resting his forehead on them. He thought back to the house they had been held in and to John passing out in his arms. He had searched the house for Rosie, finding only Jerry there with a gun and no Rosie. They had struggled for the gun when Sherlock had surprised Jerry as he entered the room. Sherlock had won by getting his finger on the trigger and killing Jerry. He hadn’t meant to. He was hoping to question the man as to where Mary and Bill had gone and whether they had taken Rosie with them.  

 

After searching the man to find his cell and sending a quick text to Mycroft, Sherlock returned to find John barely conscious at the top of the stairs. He had held him close, ghosting his lips against John’s temple while whispering pleas for him to be okay. As John blacked out, a team of skilled MI5 breached the door and entered the house, Mycroft close behind. Sherlock had been relieved to see his brother and more so when-

 

Sherlock was pulled from his thoughts as John groaned, shifting on the bed. He lifted his head from his knees. “John?” Sherlock leaned forward, reaching towards him. 

 

Another groan then John breathed out Sherlock’s name faintly before his eyes flew open. “Sherlock!!” 

 

“I’m here, John. I’m here.” Sherlock placed his feet on the floor, scooting his chair closer to the bed. “Right here.” 

 

“Oh god, Sherlock.” John winced as he tried to move. “Where is she, Sherlock? Tell me you found her?” His voice was pleading, full of agony.  

 

“John, she is okay, please relax. She is okay.” Sherlock’s own voice trembled. “Mycroft had her. She’s okay.” 

 

“What do you mean? How? When? Where? Ahhh” John cried out as he tried to sit up. 

 

“John please, please lay down. We are safe.” Sherlock placed a hand on John’s shoulder, trying to calm him and ease him back down. “I will explain.”

 

Before he could continue, the door opened and the room flooded with nurses and the doctor. 

 

“Sir, we are going to need you to leave the room for a moment, while we check over Mr Watson.” 

 

“It’s Doctor Watson and I am not leaving,” Sherlock growled as he stood, moving closer to John.

 

“Sir, leave now or I will have you removed from the room indefinitely.” The nurse repeated firmly. 

 

Sherlock took a moment looking her over and was about to deduce her to pieces when Mycroft appeared at the door. 

 

“Sherlock, give them a moment. He will be okay.” Mycroft gestured towards the door he stood in. “We will be right outside and I have something I would like to discuss with you.”  

 

Sherlock looked down at John, whose eyes clamped shut, clearing wanting Sherlock to leave as well. Right then, no reason to stay. He walked from the room, following his brother. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

John squeezed his eyes shut at the pain, hearing only the blood pulsing in his ears as the Doctor proceeded to examine him now that he was awake. Did this man have no bedside manner at all? He clutched the sheets with his fists willing himself not to hit the man. What was his doctor doing? Why had Sherlock gone quiet? John creaked open his eyelids only to find that Sherlock was no longer in the room. Where had he gone? He was supposed to explain what was happening and where Rosie was! Damn him! 

 

“Sherlock!” 

 

“Calm down, sir. Or I will have to sedate you.” 

 

“You just try,” John snarled. “Sherlock!”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Mycroft waiting until Sherlock closed the door behind him. “Sherlock, I need you to convince John to move into Baker Street until Mary is apprehended.”

 

Sherlock huffed, dropping into a chair beside the door. “He will not agree, Mycroft. I have tried before and he always says no.” 

 

“That was before, Sherlock. Surely you understand why he needs to be there. She is gone and I have no way of finding her at this point. It would be safer if I wasn’t trying to protect two flats.” 

As Mycroft paced manically in front of him, Sherlock took in his brother’s appearance and the toll the last week had on him. 

 

“Mycroft, this is not your fault.” His brother continued to pace, not looking at him. “You couldn’t have known she was going to take John or me. She had help. Someone powerful was behind her.” 

 

Mycroft stopped moving, turning slowly to face Sherlock. “It’s my job to protect you, and John and Rosie by extension. If I can’t keep you safe then who can?” His face showed defeat. Dropping into a chair beside Sherlock, his hands covering his face. “I have failed you, John, Greg and almost Rosie.” He whispered. “What if I had been slower, what would have happened?” 

 

“But you weren’t. You were there to help all of us to the best of your ability. I will talk to John about staying at Baker Street until Mary is dealt with. I will.” 

 

Mycroft removed his hands from his face, clasping them in front of him. “I won’t fail again.” He promised quietly. 

 

“You can’t make such a promise when dealing with her, but I appreciate the thought.” Sherlock laid a hand on his brother's shoulder. They were never much for touching, but the moment seemed to warrant the need to assure Mycroft. 


In the brief quiet, Sherlock heard his name called out from John’s room. John needs him.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10

 

9:00pm Monday Night

 

John watched from the hospital bed as Sherlock and Mycroft charged into the room after hearing him yell out in distress. Taking one look at him, they promptly threw everyone out. Mycroft threatening that many would never work again if they didn’t leave immediately. Reluctantly they all left but not without some protest, though one man slipped from the room quickly and quietly, John noted.  

Sherlock crossed the room to John’s side, observing him from head to toe, taking in his pained yet angry and confused look. 

 

“Why did you leave me?” John slurred, shaking his head trying to clear the fog. “Who were those people... or doctors, if they can be called that.” 

 

Sherlock looked to Mycroft where he was typing furiously on his phone by the door before answering. “What did they do and say, John?” 

 

“They gave me something, at least one did.” John shook his head again, holding his right hand to his temple, wishing the fog would lift. “I don’t- I don’t feel right, Sherlock-”

John tried to stay awake, he could hear Sherlock shouting for Mycroft. Was Mycroft still here?

 

 “John, stay with me. Mycroft! We need a doctor! Someone we can trust and now!” 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

1:30pm Tuesday Afternoon

 

John woke to the feel of hand clinging to his, the long fingers holding tight while the thumb lightly stroked the back of his hand. Sherlock. 

He slowly tried to collect himself before opening his eyes and gently quiet his quickly beating heart as he was hesitant to lose the hand holding his. 

 

As he lay there for a moment just breathing, he felt the hand slip from his, instantly mourning the loss of Sherlock’s touch. 

 

“John?” Sherlock’s voice was weary and uncertain. From the sound, he had leaned back from the bed, sitting more upright. 

 

John wished that Sherlock had stayed holding his hand for just a bit longer. After everything they had been through in the last couple of days, all the things that had been said and needed to be said yet. John just wanted this one quiet moment to look back on, to keep, to remember the feeling of Sherlock’s hand in his always before he faced reality.

 

“Sherlock,” John opened his eyes, taking in the man beside him, his appearance was dishevelled with none of its normal care. Even with his hair a mess, bruising across his face and his shirt wrinkled and untucked, Sherlock was still the most beautiful man he had ever seen. 

 

Said man was giving him a strangely curious look as John realised he had been staring longer than is considered polite.

 

“So… can you tell me what happened since we left the house and where my daughter is?” John shifted a bit to find a spot that hurt a little less. 

 

Sherlock cleared his throat. “If you remember I told you that Mary and Bill have disappeared and Jerry is dead by my hand. Mycroft showed up shortly after with half of MI5 in tow and assisted us to the hospital-”

 

“What about Rosie? You said Mycroft has her?” John asked, cutting Sherlock off. “If that’s true then why did Mary say she had her? Everything we went through..” John’s breathing started coming in short panicked gasps. Sherlock eased forward laying a hand on his forearm. 

 

“Yes, Mycroft had Rosie safely with him and Greg the whole time. I am so sorry John.. I wish we had known, that I knew before arriving at the house… Mycroft said that Greg is still in recovery at the moment, but he is healing nicely.” 

 

John tried to sit up from the shock of hearing about Greg. “What happened to Greg? Are you sure Rosie is safe? Not that I don’t trust Mycroft. It’s just..” 

 

Sherlock laid both of his hands on John’s shoulder, easing him back down on the bed. “Greg was injured while trying to save Rosie and me. He was able to get Rosie away, while the men dealt with moving me. I didn’t know he was there when they took me.”

 

“How bad is he? When can I see Rosie?” John tried to control his breathing - the new information was threatening to send him into another panic. 

 

“Mycroft and I had decided to wait until you were awake and on the mend first. Rosie witnessed a lot the past couple of days and seeing you hurt as well, maybe too much for her. She is okay staying at Mycroft and Greg’s right now. There is something else we need to talk about first…” Sherlock paused. 

 

John could feel his heart beating through his chest. Could Sherlock hear it or feel it? Is this the point where they talk about what happened at the house? John wasn’t sure he was quite ready for that. He wanted to talk to Sherlock about it, but not while in the hospital…

Sherlock read the fear off John’s face as he seemed to contemplate his next words. 

 

“Mycroft has asked that you move into Baker Street until Mary is found and dealt with.” Sherlock paused again. “I have told him that you do not want to do this, but it really is the best idea. He is afraid that while guarding two places something could happen again… If you would rather stay in your flat, he will just have to make it work.” Sherlock finished while looking down at his hands that lay clasped in his lap.

 

John went still watching Sherlock fidget in his chair making a point not to look at John directly. How much damage had Mary done? Sherlock looked convinced that John would not want to be at Baker Street with him. When the opposite was true…Though wasn't it him that constantly told Sherlock no when asked to move back?   John wanted to gather Sherlock close to him and soothe all of his worries away. But first Mary needed to be dealt with and John wanted to be home when they had this talk. Where they could maybe be uninterrupted by doctors, nurses and Mycroft. Speaking of.

 

“Hello, Mycroft,” John greeted the man as he entered the room. 

 

“John,” Mycroft nodded. “Has Sherlock filled you in on the situation at hand?” 

 

“Yes, he just finished and I agree.” John noticed that Sherlock looked up sharply first at him then at Mycroft. “Moving into Baker Street is the best possible way to keep us all safe. So when does it happen?” John asked, looking between the brothers, who could only stare before collecting themselves.

 

Mycroft spoke first. “I will have you and Rosie moved by this evening. Best to move quickly based on current events.” 

 

John gave Sherlock a puzzled look. “What did I miss?”

 

Sherlock looked to Mycroft then back at John. “Do you remember the first time you woke?” 

 

“Vaguely. Something about the doctors being incompetent? Why?” 

 

Sherlock looked pained. “There was an attempted to harm you when you first woke. One that almost succeeded…”       

 

“Mary?” John held his breath. 

 

“We believe so,” Sherlock looked to Mycroft again, but the man continued quietly typing on his phone. “This is part of the reason for having you stay at Baker Street.”

 

“I see. Was the person caught?” 

 

“No.”

 

“When do we leave here then? I assume shortly?” John began to sit up. 

 

“John, I am not sure you are ready yet.” Sherlock reached towards him. 

 

“I am perfectly fine to travel to Baker Street. I can rest there, where we can be safer.” John edged to the side of the bed, reaching for Sherlock to help. “You can help me with any bandage changes that I will need, right?” 

 

“Um, yes of course,” Sherlock gripped his hand, helping him to sit on the edge of the bed. “Mycroft, is everything all set? Can we leave?”


“Yes, I have everything cleared and taken care of.” Mycroft looked up at them. John wondered what he was seeing. Did he see how John was still holding Sherlock’s hand tightly? Or how Sherlock’s other hand was around his shoulders? Did Sherlock realise how he was holding John? That his warmth was seeping into John’s body, making him want to stay like this forever...

Chapter Text

Chapter 11

5:20 pm Tuesday 

 

Baker Street. Sherlock held the door open as John slowly made his way through. Mycroft was already here with Rosie and his team was posted all along the street. Sherlock could see the two in Speedy’s as they had walked up. Mycroft was taking no chances of Mary getting through to them. He had been making preparations all day for them to arrive. He moved John and Rosie’s things from John’s flat to Baker Street, set up the street teams plus 24 hour CCTV monitoring. 

 

Sherlock felt a bit safer as they crossed the threshold and locked the door behind them. John paused at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at all seventeen while Sherlock hung up their coats and stepped beside him. 

 

“Sherlock? I think I am going to need your help with this,” John asked quietly, not looking over at Sherlock. 

 

“Oh, uhm,” Sherlock was a bit confused. “I am sure Rosie will be so happy to see you. No need to worry about her reaction, your injuries are well hidden from her.”

 

John smiled a bit, looking towards him. “I meant with the stairs. But thanks for that as well.” 

 

“Oh. Oh! Of course John, just lean on me.” Sherlock stepped closer to him, wrapping an arm around John’s waist. With the warmth of John’s body seeping through his jacket, Sherlock wished he had kept his coat on, it would have put more of a barrier between them. Right now, with John’s arm around him, Sherlock couldn’t help resting his hand on John’s hip as he guided him up the stairs and into the sitting room. 

 

“Daddy!!” Rosie leapt up from the floor where she was playing and ran towards them. 

 

“Rosie darling!” John dropped his arm from around Sherlock and caught his daughter, pulling her into a tight hug. 

 

Sherlock closed the hand that had rested on John’s hip and brought it to his chest, trying to hold in the last feeling of John against him. Looking up, he found Mycroft watching him with an expression of sadness. Of course, Mycroft would witness his sad pining for a man he couldn’t have. Sherlock stared at Mycroft a moment before shrugging his shoulders and looking back at John and Rosie chatting beside him. 

 

“I will be going now. Do text if you are in need of anything. John. Rosie. Sherlock.” Mycroft paused on Sherlock before making his way down the stairs.

 

“Bye Uncle Myke! Oh, Erlock! You brought daddy back!” Rosie jumped towards Sherlock with her arms outstretched to be picked up. 

 

“Yes, Watson. I did promise you I would.” Sherlock tried to bury the sad feeling in his heart and just be happy that he had both of them staying here. Well, for a little while. What happens when Mary is dealt with and they leave again? Or if Mary is never found? What do they do then? 

 

Rosie wrapped her arms around Sherlock’s neck, hugging tight she whispered in his ear. “Thank you, Erlock.” 

 

Sherlock felt tears prickle his eyes, threatening to break free as he held his goddaughter close. John stood next to them listening to her whisper as Sherlock sensed a hand in the middle of his back, just resting there. John. John was touching him. What did this mean? Looking into the mirror above the mantle, Sherlock could see what would look like to the outside world as a small loving family. Instead of two friends/ used-to-be-flatmates and one flatmate’s daughter. 

 

Sherlock quickly set Rosie down and moved towards the kitchen. “John, you should take your pills and rest. The stress of travelling here must be wearing on you? Would you like help upstairs to rest?” Sherlock asked as he prepared John’s medication before returning to the sitting room. 

 

“No, thank you, I think I will just lay here on the sofa for a bit. Maybe watch some telly?” John carefully reclined on the couch while asking Rosie to bring the remote. 

 

Sherlock handed over the pills, reprimanding himself for lingering. John obviously wanted some alone time with his daughter after such a long period of time apart and Sherlock was already making this difficult. If they were in their own home this won’t be a problem, but they are forced to be here with him. 

 

“I will just be…” Sherlock backed away, leaving the room quickly, closing his bedroom door behind him as soon as he could. Sliding down the door, Sherlock hung his head between his propped up legs, raking his hands through his hair. Damn, damn, damn. Ten minutes in and he was already reminding John of why he didn’t want to live here anymore. Standing, he removed his jacket, hanging it haphazardly in the closet, sweeping on his blue silk dressing gown. Maybe he could spend most of his time in his room, then it would be better. Better for John. Spinning around the room, Sherlock looked about. Where was the experiment he had started two weeks ago? Surely he could work on that until Mary was found…

 

Quiet knocks reached his ears. Rosie was at his bedroom door. “Erlock, daddy wants to know if you are ready to watch or if you need more time?” Her face peered into his room. “He picked out a good one about sea life!” 

 

“I just… Are you sure?” Sherlock hesitated before following Rosie back to the sitting room.

 

“All set?” John looked up from the couch where he had propped himself with a couple of pillows. He gave Sherlock a nod to the other side of the sofa, that he had left free for him. 

 

Sherlock settled on his half with Rosie between them. Sneaking a peek at John as he did. 

 

“Alright, we will start this then pause for some takeaway in a bit. How does that sound? Good?” John fiddled with the remote as he talked.  

 

“Angelo’s?!” Rosie asked excitedly. 

 

“Maybe,” John smiled over her head at Sherlock then started the program. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

9:40 Tuesday night

 

Outside their cosy flat, in the city somewhere was a woman who wasn’t done with them yet. Across town on a quiet street where the flat that John and Mary had shared sat empty, no one noticed a dark shadow creeping in the back door. By the time the fire crews arrived, the flat was lost, but they were able to save the ones on either side. 

 

Mycroft stood beside Greg watching the flames flick through the roof as crews battled the blaze. “I knew she would strike again. Why can’t I find her?” 

 

Greg reached for his husband’s hand, holding it tight. “Maybe you are trying too hard, my love. You haven’t slept well in over a week. That changes tonight. I am going to take care of you.” 

 

“You are still not fully healed yet. Which is also my fault…” Mycroft said bitterly. 

 

“I am okay, love. It was just a scratch anyways.” Greg pressed a kiss against Mycroft’s shoulder. 

 

“It is not a scratch, Gregory. You have a bullet hole in your thigh. You shouldn’t even be standing right now.” 

 

“You know I’m not letting you out of my sight right now until this is over.” 

 

“I know…” Mycroft sighed in defeat. “Let us return home.” 

 

Both men entered the car behind them unaware they were being observed from two buildings down. 



Chapter Text

Chapter 12

7:20 Wednesday Morning.

 

John woke to Sherlock answering his phone. He must have fallen asleep on the couch last night. He rubbed his eyes slowly before cracking them open to view the sitting room. Sherlock sat in his chair, speaking to Mycroft, most likely. Must just be checking in. 

John took this time to observe the man across the room from him. Dressed in a ragged t-shirt, pyjama bottoms and his blue silk dressing gown Sherlock was stunningly beautiful in the early morning light. 

 

John pressed down the ache in his chest to gather the man in his arms and hold him close. Sharing the couch last night with Rosie between them had felt so right. John had stopped himself, several times from reaching out and laying a hand on Sherlock’s. They really needed to talk about what happened while they were being held captive. 

 

“Yes, thank you, Brother.”

 

Sherlock was wrapping up his conversation with Mycroft, it sounded like and his eyes had found John’s staring at him.

 

“Until then.” Sherlock hung up his phone, setting it on the table beside his chair. “Good morning, John.” 

 

“Sherlock,” John tried to stretch but felt the pain from his back rip through him. Wincing he looked about for his pills. “Sherlock, where are-”

 

“Coffee table near your feet.” Sherlock stood moving towards the kitchen, clicking on the kettle as he passed it. 

 

“Sherlock, what did Mycroft want this morning?” John could hear Sherlock rattling pans and moving things about. Staying busy? Trying to avoid something.. But what? Him? 

 

Last night had been a bit awkward at first and John had worried that Sherlock was going to shut him out after everything they had been through together. To avoid that from happening he had sent Rosie to bring Sherlock out of his room, knowing the man couldn’t resist his goddaughter. 

 

“He.. uhm..” Sherlock came back into the sitting room with a nervous look that he quickly made disappear, his face appearing blank instead. 

 

“Sherlock, just tell me. Please?” John could see Sherlock was struggling to find the words. “What happened? Are we not safe anymore? Has Mary done something?” 

 

“She uhm.. Well, we are not sure if it was her but..” 

“Sherlock! Just tell me,” John demanded... 

 

“Last night, your flat was burned to the ground. I am sorry, John. Everything was lost. Though with the insurance money I am sure you can find a better place when this is over.” The words tumbled out of Sherlock in one long breath. 

 

John sat back, stunned. She burned the flat… Why? 

 

“Though it will take time for everything to be cleared, I am sure Mycroft can hurry your claim, so you are able to move sooner. That is if Mary has been dealt with. Though-” Sherlock didn’t seem like he was slowing down anytime soon. 

 

“Sherlock, it’s okay. I am not in a rush to go anywhere. Please come sit, I think... I think we should talk about the things that happened while we were being held.” 

 

Sherlock anxiously looked up at John. “It is not necessary, really, John. Things are better left alone, don’t you think? Many things happened and I would rather not relive them. I do believe I hear your daughter on the stairs and she will be hungry. If you excuse me.” Sherlock turned in a whirl of dressing gown and disappeared. 

 

John wanted to yell for him to come back, to talk to him. But maybe it was too soon. Maybe he should give Sherlock time before talking. Or maybe Sherlock had deduced what he was going to say and wanted to save John the embarrassment of Sherlock not returning his feelings.    

 

Anyway, Sherlock was right, Rosie bound through the door seconds later, chatting up a storm about a dream she had and how she was starving. John couldn’t help but laugh at his daughter’s story. He could hear Sherlock making breakfast before he left to take a shower once he had Rosie settled with her meal. Time… I will give you time, Sherlock. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sherlock let the spray of hot water wash over him as he deliberated over this morning's conversation with both Mycroft and John. Mycroft had expressed his worry that Mary may move fast after burning down the flat she had shared with John. He wasn’t sure if she had been aware that John was not at home at the time. Or if she had hoped he was, hence the burnt flat. Sherlock hoped that she hadn’t tried to burn both John and Rosie in that fire. What would he have done?   

 

Then John wanted to talk this morning about their time being held. The last thing Sherlock wanted to do was talk about that. He had no need to hear John once again tell him that he didn’t want to be here at Baker Street or that he had no feelings for Sherlock. He didn’t want to hear John say those words again. He would rather things be awkward for a few days and then get back to some sort of normal they had before all of this happened. He just needed to find Mary and deal with her first. Then John could have his life back. One that would take him far from Sherlock… 

 

Sherlock felt the first tears escape his eyes and join the rest of the water streaming down his face. He selfishly wanted John and Rosie to continue staying with him here at Baker Street always, but that wasn’t his choice. 

 

As he tried to control the tears from slipping out of his eyes, he heard a knock at the bathroom door. 

 

“Sherlock? Sorry to bother you, but when you are done could you help me change my bandages?”

 

John. The one-man he loved more than anything and the one man he could never have. 

 

“Yes, of course, John. One moment.” Sherlock hoped his voice sounded stronger and less shaky to John then it did to him. 

 

Turning off the water that had started to run cold, Sherlock stepped out, grabbing a towel to dry off. Standing in the mirror, he took note of his own injuries. His torso was covered in bruises much like John’s, but unlike John, Sherlock’s knife cuts were across his ribs. Pulling back the bandage, the word FREAK had started to heal a bit. Mary’s little joke. She had loved every minute of carving the word into his skin. 

 

Nothing as bad as the marks she made on John. Sherlock’s was smaller, more of a reminder of what he was than anything, but still painful. He winced a bit as he cleaned the area and rebandaged. 

 

John didn’t need to know about this. Ever. 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

One week later.

10:20 Wednesday night.

 

One week of nothing. No moves from Mary. Just quiet. To John, this was almost worse, like an enemy lulling you into a false sense of security before striking you hard when you least expect it. He would rather bring the fight to her, but they had no idea where she was. 

 

Mycroft had all of his resources at high alert searching for her, while each day Sherlock became quieter and more reserved than ever. Every time John tried to talk to him about what happened while they were held captive, Sherlock would claim something had come up and then dash out of the flat or to his room, closing the door on the conversation. 

 

John was at a loss as to what to do, so he decided to put it on hold for now and wait until Mary was caught to see if Sherlock would talk then. In the meantime, he spent his days with Rosie and Sherlock in quiet domesticated manner. These last week had made John really think about his and Rosie’s future and Sherlock’s part in it. Now that they were here and settled and their flat had been burned to the ground, the prospect of leaving gave John a bad feeling. 

 

He wanted nothing more than to stay at Baker Street and convenience Sherlock of what they could mean to each other. To forge a family together just the three of them against the rest of the world forever. It was beginning to feel like a pipe dream, just out of reach… 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sherlock slowly made his way out of his mind palace, blinking to adjust his eyes to the darkness of the evening and the flickering firelight that met him.

 

A quick glance around the room found John sitting in his chair reading a crappy spy novel with a predictable ending that Sherlock had deduced just by reading the title of the book. 

 

“Really, John? I already told you the ending.” Sherlock eased his legs off the couch as he sat up, stretching a bit after lying still for so long.

 

“Yes, thank you for that. I would still like to see for myself.” John huffed, never lifting his eyes from the page. 

 

Sherlock ruffled his hair to fix the flat spot the couch pillow had so graciously given him. “What time is it?” 

 

John gave a small sigh, still not looking up. “About half ten. Why?” 

 

“No reason. Rosie sleeping?” 

 

“Yes, I put her to bed earlier. She asked for you.” John finally looked up, meeting Sherlock’s eyes. “Did you get done what you needed to?”

 

“No,” Sherlock shook his head, standing to pace the room. “Why can’t I figure this out!” He opened his violin case forcibly, pulling the instrument free and tucking it under his chin. The music that came out was angry and strained, the strings crying out from the mistreatment.

 

“Sherlock? Sherlock! Stop torturing-” John stopped at the word, a look of pain flashed across his face. “I mean, treating your violin that way isn’t going to help you think.”

 

Sherlock interrupted what he was doing to stare at John for a moment. The man looked unsettled at using the word ‘tortured’. Given what they had gone through and what John himself had endured in Afghanistan judging from the older scars Sherlock had seen, there should be no surprise. 

 

But still, seeing this brave, strong man shrink at just a word pulled at Sherlock’s heart. He wanted to gather the man to his chest and keep him safe from ever being harmed again. Not that that was possible or that John would allow him to do so. But still, he wanted more than anything to do just that.  

 

Lost in this thought, Sherlock failed to realize that he had been staring and not speaking for several minutes. John had at some point gone back to his book, stealing glances Sherlock’s way in between pages. 

 

Turning back to the window, Sherlock started to play one of John’s favourite pieces, it was soulful and soft and maybe just what they both needed tonight. In the reflection, he could see John set aside his book and leaned his head against the back of his chair.  

 

As he played, he alternated between watching John’s reflection and watching the street below. That was how he noticed the black car pulling up to the curb by their front door. 

 

“I do believe we are about to have company, John.” 

 

John sat up a bit. “Oh? At this hour? Who is it? Mycroft? I guess it could only be Mycroft. I hope anyways.” 

 

“Yes, John. It is Mycroft. The question is, why?” 

 

Both men listened as Mycroft made his way up the stairs and into their sitting room. Sherlock replacing the violin to its case, taking his seat across from John. 

 

“Good evening, Brother Mine. John.” Mycroft gave them both a nod. “I apologize for the lateness of the hour. But I have no choice. There have been whispers of an attack, too strong to seem false ”

 

“An attack on what, Mycroft? Here?” Sherlock sat forward in his chair, his eyes darting between John and Mycroft’s. 

 

“We are not 100% yet. I just wanted to let you know there are whispers in the air about one. I came here to make sure John and you remain armed and do not leave the flat for any reason for the next few days.”

 

John looked at Sherlock in surprise. “Armed? Have you been armed this whole time?” 

“Of course I have, ever since the hospital before you woke I have been armed,” Sherlock replied firmly. Why would John think he wouldn’t be armed after what happened to them . He was more surprised that John was apparently not armed at the moment.

 

“Where did you get a gun?” 

 

“Really, John?” Sherlock gave a pointed look towards Mycroft then back at John. 

 

“Well, I just…” 

 

“Are you saying you are not currently carrying yours right now?” Sherlock looked back at Mycroft for a second, noting his brother was typing quietly and giving them a moment to speak. 

 

John looked down at his hands as he seemed to be formulating a response to Sherlock’s question. “Of course I am. I just didn’t realize that you were as well. I guess it’s just. I didn’t know.” John glanced sideways at Mycroft, back at the floor then back to Sherlock, an unreadable expression on his face. 

 

Sherlock could tell that John wasn’t going to talk about this while Mycroft was still in the room. “Is there anything else we should know, Mycroft?” 

 

“As of right now, that is all I have. I do wish there was more. I will say that should the opportunity present itself, you have the permission of the British Government to protect yourselves and your family with any means necessary. I will handle any aftermath that may occur.” 

 

With that Mycroft moved towards the door, pausing to look back at John. “John, would you kindly walk me to the front door?” 

 

John gave a look of surprise but followed the man down the stairs. Sherlock slipped towards the sitting room door in hopes of catching parts of the conversation. The only part he caught was from Mycroft. 

 

“It’s up to you to be the brave one. I hope you know you need to end this.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 14 

10:40 Wednesday night.

 

John closed the door behind Mycroft, his mind replaying their brief conversation. Be the brave one… Could he? Could he take the leap? Could he end this stalemate between them? What if Mycroft was wrong? What if he was reading Sherlock wrong? What if it all backfired and he lost Sherlock for good? Could he do that? Could he live without Sherlock in his life at all??  So many things to think about... 

 

John walked back up the stairs slowly, his mind lost in thoughts of what to say to Sherlock. He couldn’t even get the man to talk about what happened to them while they were being held captive. How did he now talk about everything that he said back then was a lie and that he really cared for Sherlock as more than a friend/flatmate? 

 

As he entered the sitting room, Sherlock turned from where he stood by the fireplace, the look on his face said he had overheard Mycroft. Of course, he would be listening in. 

 

“Er, Uhm, Sherlock. Could we maybe, I don’t know. Sit and talk a bit?” John rubbed the back of his neck, looking down before up into Sherlock’s eyes, which yielded no expression. 

 

He knew. He had to know. He didn’t want it. Doesn’t want John that way. God, he was such an idiot. 

 

No. NO. Don’t jump to conclusions. Talk to the bloody man. Tell him. Be brave. Be the brave one. Jump and hope Sherlock catches you. 

 

When Sherlock didn’t answer, John moved closer. “Fine, you don’t have to talk, but I need too.” He cleared his throat. “There are things that need to be said, whether you are ready to hear them or not.” 

 

Sherlock turned away from him at that point, placing both hands on the mantle, leaning his upper body forward until his head was even with his shoulders. “John, please. I don’t think I can bear to hear it.” 

 

“Why Sherlock? If you know what— if you know what I am going to say, why? Is it that bad? Is it so wrong?” John knew he sounded like he was desperate. 

 

“John, please.” 

 

John paused for a moment, thinking maybe he should just walk away, go upstairs and forget what Mycroft had said. Bloody hell, fuck it. It was all or nothing at this point, no going back.

 

“No, Sherlock. No. I am sorry if you don’t want to hear this, but I need to tell you. I need you to know and then you can decide if you throw me out or not.” 

 

“John-” Sherlock’s voice was a pained whisper, just barely heard in the room. 

 

“Sherlock, I— I want you to know that— God this is harder than I thought.” John rubbed the back of his neck again, looking around the room. 

 

“Then don’t John.” Came a whisper.

 

“No, I am not running anymore, Sherlock. If this whole Mary thing has shown me anything, it's that life is short and you never know when the rug is going to get pulled out from under you. So with that thought.” John moved closer to Sherlock, standing just to his left. “Could you look at me, Sherlock? Maybe?”

 

Sherlock pushed off the mantle, turning to face John, his eyes filled with pain. The look bore a resemblance to Sherlock chained to the wall just before Mary was going to torture John. It ripped through John’s heart like a knife to his skin.  

 

“Sherlock,” John stepped up, reaching a hand to wipe away a stray tear that slid slowly down Sherlock’s cheek. His hand resting there a moment. “Sherlock, I am in love with you. Everything I said in that basement while Mary was there was a lie. She made me say it to hurt us. She was trying to make me hurt you. Do you see? It made her happy to try and ruin us before there was even anything—. I am so sorry. She would have hurt you worse herself if I hadn’t said those things. The second the words left my mouth I regretted not just letting her. But I was trying to protect you and Rosie. I am so sorry you had to hear those words from me. So sorry. But they are not true. I— I love you, Sherlock… I have for years.” John paused, waiting. “Please— please say something.” 

 

“John, I-” Sherlock’s voice cracked. More tears run down his face as he closed his eyes, his body was rigid to the touch, yet shaking. 

 

“Sherlock?” John started to withdraw his hand. “Sherlock, it's okay if you don’t feel the same. You can tell me and it won’t change anything. I will still be your friend, you will still be Rosie’s godfather. Just tell me..so— so I know.”  John searched Sherlock’s eyes for any hint. Anything that said he felt the same. 

 

“John, I am not sure that I can believe you… I want too. I want to so bad.” Sherlock turned his head, looking down. “But how can it be true? How can someone-- someone as wonderful as you truly love me?” 

 

“Surely you can see the truth in my face, Sherlock? I know I hid it for a long time, but that is because I thought you deserved better than me, I still do really.” 


Sherlock looked up in surprise. “What changed your mind then? Is it because there is no one else? Am I just a backup plan? “Not gay” Watson, runs out of other options?” His voice sounded angry but his eyes said hurt and fear. 

 

“No, Sherlock. Of course not. After what happened I decided to be selfish. I decided to go for what I have wanted all these years. I know I have said “Not gay” before but that was before and plus I am bisexual so I don’t really see myself as gay if you want to know.”  

 

Sherlock didn’t respond, he seemed to be staring at John’s face, taking in everything he saw there. John hoped his expression was showing all the love he felt for Sherlock. That the man would see how loved he was by John. 

 

In a flurry of movement, Sherlock stepped forward pressing his lips to John’s in an awkward first kiss. Their noses bumping. John didn’t even have time to react before Sherlock was pulling away and apologizing. 

 

“Sherlock, shhh. Come here.” John reached for the man’s hand pulling him in again, slowly. He raised his right hand to Sherlock’s cheek before placing his lips softly against the man’s.   

 

Sherlock let out a soft moan amidst the kiss and John wanted to hear it again so much. He deepened the kiss while wrapping his arms around Sherlock’s waist. As his hands grazed Sherlock’s ribs, the man let out a pained sound. 

 

John abruptly stopped the kiss and stepped back, searching Sherlock’s face. “Are you okay?” 

 

“Yes, its nothing, John.” 

 

“It didn’t sound like nothing, Sherlock. What’s wrong?” 

 

Sherlock seemed reluctant but answered anyway. “I just have some bruising. It’s nothing really.” 

 

“If it is still hurting you then it's not nothing. Can I see?” 

 

“John..I—. You—. it’s… I guess you may need to know.” Sherlock looked upset. “It’s not just bruising.” 

 

“I know that. That should be healed by now.” John waited as Sherlock began to unbutton his shirt. As the shirt was moved aside, John sucked a breath in, across Sherlock’s ribs on his right side, the word FREAK was carved into his skin. Mary. The wound was still red and angry for being almost three weeks old. 

 

“Sherlock, this isn’t healing right. Something is wrong.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

12:30 am Wednesday night. 

 

Sherlock tried not to wince while John cleaned and tended to his wound. John was grumbling the whole time about how Sherlock should have come to him sooner, how he should have gone to the hospital. Sherlock knew he should have done something earlier before the wound had become so bad, but it was too late for that now. 

 

Had she not used a dirty knife and had he not tried to care for the wound himself instead of letting the nurse take care of it while he was at the hospital, things might have been different. But at the time, he had been more concerned with John’s wounds than his own and had pushed his own needs aside.

 

Like right now, he was trying not to think about the lingering feeling of John’s fingers grazing across his ribs. He was thinking over everything they had talked about earlier before John had discovered the wound. 

 

John loved him. Beautiful, wonderful, brave John loved him. After everything they had been through, after all the hurt and sadness, John loved him. 

 

Sherlock hadn’t believed the words when John had first said them, because how could he love Sherlock after what Sherlock had put him through. He didn’t deserve this man’s love. He wanted it, he wanted John to love him as he loved John, but he didn’t deserve it at all. 

 

“Sherlock, stop,” John said without looking up from where he was cleaning the wound. 

 

“Stop what?” Sherlock replied. “I am not doing anything.”

 

“Yes, you are. You are thinking this will change, that you will wake in the morning and find it was all a dream. I can feel your panic rising.” John smiled at him and continued to work. 

 

“I-- I want to believe it, John. It just seems to go to be true. How? How could you?” 

 

“How could I what? Love you?” John chuckled. “Very easily it seems. Loving you is like breathing. I can’t go without it. Now stop worrying and hold still, I am almost done.” 

 

Sherlock tried, but he wanted to wrap his arms around this man that loved him and kiss him again more than anything. 

 

"John?" 

 

"Yes, Sherlock?" John finished placing the new bandage on his ribs and stepped back to remove the gloves. 

 

"I find I would like to kiss you again… May I?" He asked carefully. 

 

"Of course, come here." John moved close to him, turning his face up to meet Sherlock's. 

 

This kiss was just as wonderful as the last one, it was like their lips were meant for each other. 

When they last pulled apart, both were breathing heavily and clinging to the other. 

 

"Sherlock, would you--" John started, when he heard Rosie’s monitor sound off in the other room. She was crying. "Sorry, I just need to check her." 

 

John moved away from Sherlock, but not before placing a kiss on his cheek. Sherlock watched him go and wondered if he should check to in case John needed him. He decided to give John some time first and then go up if she didn't quiet down. 

 

Waiting in the sitting room proved difficult and Sherlock shortly after climbed the stairs headed for John and Rosie's room. Now that they were moving into some sort of relationship, would John maybe sleep with him in his room? Sherlock found he liked that idea, of John being in his bed and with him when he went to bed and woke up in the morning.

 

At the top of the stairs, Sherlock paused to listen before proceeding into the room. He could hear John pacing and shushing his daughter. Thinking she may relax if he played, Sherlock went back downstairs to get his violin before returning to find John just where he left him. 

 

"John? I thought I might play for her?" Sherlock raised his arm holding his instrument to show what he had. 

 

"Yea, maybe." John seemed exhausted already, but then it had been a long day for them. “It seems she had a bit of a nightmare.” 

 

Sherlock nodded and began to play a soft melody for her as John continued to rock her in his arms. Sherlock took in the scene in front of him and it made his heart swell. The thought that this was all on its way to being his, his little family, his own. Made him incredibly happy, he smiled to himself as he played and caught John watching him with a smile of his own. 

 

Rosie had quieted down and John laid her back in her bed, running a hand through her hair before kissing her cheek and standing back up. 

 

“Thank you for that, Sherlock,” John said, walking towards him. “I should probably stay up here just in case.” 

 

Sherlock tried to not look disappointed at the thought. “Of course, John. Goodnight.” 

 

“Sherlock?” John caught his arm. “Would you like to stay up here with me?” 

 

Sherlock looked back at him in surprise “Are you sure? Because I can--”

 

“Yes, I would like you to. If you want.” John added. 

 

“Yes, I would. I will just get changed and return.” Sherlock quickly went downstairs, returning his violin to its case, before changing and using the loo. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he walked back up the stairs to find John lying in bed, looking at his phone. 

 

Seeing Sherlock enter the room, he put it away and rolled towards him. “For a moment I thought maybe you were not coming back.” He smiled up at Sherlock. 

 

“Never,” Sherlock said as he removed his dressing gown and slid under the duvet. John turned off the light and they lay there, both on their backs, staring at the ceiling. Sherlock wasn’t sure what to do next. Should he just lay there? Or turn towards John? Should he try to hold him? 

He had never shared a bed with someone he was in love with.

 

In the end, John chose for them, sliding his hand across the bed to clasp their hands together under the covers. “Good night, Sherlock.”

 

“Good night, John,” Sherlock whispered back, closing his eyes, his mind filing away the feeling of John’s hand in his. There was a special room in his mind palace just for John and this night was getting placed on the mantle. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

John awakened to the sound of a crash downstairs. He was out of bed, to the bedroom door with a gun in hand, in less than a second. Sherlock appeared beside him in the same fashion. 

 

Handing John his phone, Sherlock whisper for him to call Mycroft before they moved at all. John dialled Mycroft’s number as Sherlock peeked out the door, looking down the stairs.

 

“Yes, John?” Mycroft’s voice sounded sleeping and John wondered for a minute what time it was. 

 

“Mycroft, we have noise downstairs. We think someone is here?” John whispered, into the phone. 

 

“Where is Sherlock?” Mycroft asked John could hear the sounds of Mycroft moving through the phone. 

 

“He is up here with me and Rosie. Are you sending a team in? How did someone even get in here?”

 

“Hold on I cam checking now,” Mycroft answered. “It seems that it is my team downstairs. They had seen movement near the back of the house and entered to make sure you were okay.”

 

“Okay, Mycroft I don’t think we are safe here anymore…” John said as he let Sherlock know what was happening. Sherlock watched him as he spoke to Mycroft. 

 

“What would you like to do, John?” Mycroft asked.

 

“I don’t know yet, but something has to change or this will never end.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 16

6 days later:

John finished packing two bags, one for him and one for Rosie, before carrying both downstairs to the sitting room, where Mycroft and Sherlock were waiting. Dropping them by the stairs, he walked up next to Sherlock, who was packing a few of Rosie’s favourite toys that she kept by his chair. 

 

“Well, I think that is everything. Did you pack everything you need?” He reached out to take the bag of toys from Sherlock. 

 

“Yes, I have. It is all ready to go downstairs.” Sherlock nodded towards the door. “John, are you sure this is what you want to do?” 

 

John stopped, facing Sherlock. “Yes, I am. I think this is our best option. Don’t you?” 

 

“Of course, but this is a lot on your part. You stand to lose the most.” Sherlock spoke softly, moving until he was right in front of John. Taking his hand gently, they stood inches apart, staring into each other's eyes. 

 

“I know what I stand to lose and gain by finishing this once and for all. I can’t--We can’t keep living like this, Sherlock. It’s time to take the fight to her.” John squeezed his hand before dropping it to pick up the bags. “If we are ready, let’s go.” 

 

Sherlock nodded at him and Mycroft and they all moved towards the stairs. Out of Mrs Hudson’s flat came Greg, Rosie, and Mrs Hudson to meet them at the front door. Mrs Hudson had her bag in hand as well. 

 

“Alright, here we go.” Sherlock opened the door, holding it as everyone filed out and into the waiting cars, headed to Diogenes Club where everyone but Sherlock, John and Mycroft would be staying until this was over. 

 

John sat next to Sherlock and Rosie, one on each side. He buckled Rosie in, as she babbled on about Mrs Hudson and Uncle Greg helping her make cookies later. John listened, answering when needed as he held Sherlock’s hand tightly in his. 

 

This whole endeavour they were undertaking was a risk. They had no idea where Mary was or how many people she had at her disposal. The best choice was to tuck Rosie and Mrs Hudson away where no one could get to them and leave the city to draw Mary out. See if she would go after them again, if they were out from Mycroft’s protection, out of Baker Street. Somewhere that she would find them vulnerable enough to attack them.

 

It wasn’t the best idea, but it may be their only one. 

 

John looked over at Sherlock to find him watching him closely. “John, what if she doesn’t take the bait?” 

 

“I think she will. It will be too hard for her not too. She will want to ruin this for us.”  

 

“Daddy! Erlock! Where is Mr Teddy?” Rosie started to cry next to him. 

 

John searched the bag in front of him, not finding the bear at all. “Sherlock? By any chance-?" 

 

Sherlock was pulling Mr Teddy out of his coat before John could even finish his sentence. “Here he is, Rosie. Nice and safe.” He reached across John, handing Rosie her bear. 

 

“What would I do without you,” John whispered, in Sherlock’s ear as he leaned across him. 

 

“Let’s not find out,” Sherlock whispered back, brushing a kiss on John’s cheek as he moved back to his seat. 

 

“Let’s not.” 

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

After two hours of settling and tearful goodbyes, Sherlock and John were on their way to Sussex. The plan was to draw Mary out by pretending to go away for a romantic weekend. She wouldn't be able to resist the chance to ruin this for them. 

They rented a car, making a big thing about how it was their first weekend away alone. Driving down together was a peaceful time. Sherlock drove as he knew where they were going. 

 

"So this cottage we are staying at is a family home?" John questioned while his thumb rubbed small circles on the back of Sherlock's free hand. 

 

"Yes, it's a small cottage that Mycroft and Greg own for weekends away and as a place to retire when they are older." 

 

"Oh, ok. And they are just okay with us using it for this?" John was a bit surprised at that. 

 

"I think Mycroft still feels at fault for both of us being captured and is trying to make amends." 

 

"It's not his fault. None of us saw it coming. I don't know why she wanted Rosie so bad and now nothing. I am hoping she decides to come after us here even though we don't have Rosie with us." John looked thoughtfully out the window. 

 

"Me too, John. Me too." Sherlock pulled off the main road onto a small driveway that cut back in the woods. 

 

"Is this it?" John peered out the window of the SUV they rented. As the cottage came into view, John stared, mouth open at the small quaint country home in front of them. 

 

"Wow, this is not what I thought when I think of a place Mycroft will retire to. I was thinking of a grand house with guards and a moat maybe?" John laughed at himself. "This must be Greg's influence. " 

 

There was a short rock wall across the front of the house with two large trees on either side of the path of rock leading to the front door. Sherlock parked the car in a one-vehicle shed beside the house that served as a carport for the home. 

 

Getting out, John moved to the back of the car, removing their bags from the boot before heading for the house. Turning back, he noticed Sherlock was still standing beside the car on his phone. 

 

"You coming?" 

 

"Be right there, informing Mycroft that we have arrived," Sherlock answered. 

 

John nodded and continued into the house. He unlocked the door and stepped inside. The house was just as quaint on the inside as well. There was a sitting room on the right side with a rock fireplace. The kitchen was on the left side followed by a small room and main bathroom. John peeked in all the rooms, noting the well-stocked kitchen as he went. There were stairs in the centre of the house leading up to the master bedroom and loo. 

 

John set their bags down in this room, before going back downstairs to the kitchen. 

 

“Sherlock, you in here yet?” John called out. 

 

“In the sitting room, John,” Sherlock replied. 

 

John entered the sitting room to find Sherlock logging on to his computer while sitting on the sofa. “Are you hungry? I thought I might make us some dinner.” 

 

Sherlock looked up at him before setting down his computer, stood up and walked over to kiss John thoroughly.

 

When John came up for air several moments later, he couldn’t read the look in Sherlock’s eyes. “Hey, what’s going on? What was that for?” He asked softly. 

 

“We don’t know what the next few days will bring, I just didn’t want to pass this chance.” Sherlock seemed worried. 

 

“Hey, it’s going to be okay this time. She can’t hurt us again, I won’t let her.” John brought his hands to cup Sherlock’s jaw. “We are going to win this. I promise.” 

 

Sherlock found John’s lips again, kissing him fiercely, causing John to groan into the kiss. 

 

“If you keep kissing me like that,” John growled into the kiss. 

 

“What are you going to do?” Sherlock whispered, kissing him again.