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A Redemption of Genius

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John used his foot to kick open the door to 221C. Together, he and Sherlock dragged an unconscious and bound Moriarty into the once empty flat. Now the flat was filled with everything it would take to twist an already insane, but brilliant mind in the shape Sherlock wanted it to take. Rather than bringing about the end of the criminal mastermind, the detective intended to tame him.

This mad idea of the detective's had arisen after the second pip a few days ago. He'd had Mycroft's men on standby when he went to the pool and after an incredibly long and arduous argument, Sherlock managed to convince John that he was right, that without killing Jim, it was the only way.

They dropped him in the centre of the room. "John, I want to get him stripped and on the cross before he wakes up, then we can turn on the white noise and leave him for a few hours."

Nodding, the doctor cut Jim's bonds and started undressing him. "You're going to gag and blindfold him, right? We don't want him to be heard."

"Trust me, John. No one is going to hear Moriarty, not through the soundproofing we put in."

"How the hell did you get your brother to agree to this?"

"How the hell did I get you to agree with this?" Sherlock countered.

John smirked. "Fair play."

He pulled the consulting criminal's trousers off. "You know, I could get jealous of him, if this works out."

"This is about taming his obsession with me, not me falling in love with him." Sherlock walked over and kissed John. "I value him for his intellect. It's you that I love."

"What do you value me for?" John quizzed.

"Hmm… good question. Your ability to put up with me. You being a great doctor. And you agreeing to be with me despite my brother's insistence on running my life."

The doctor laughed. "Fair points, all. As he pulled off Jim's pants, Sherlock approached with the aforementioned gag and blindfold.

"I want him to be completely disoriented, but he's smart. We'll need to use the earplugs too." Sherlock buckled the gag in place. "And the menthol. That should help eliminate sensory clues." The detective put the bilndfold on Moriarty.

"How do you know to do all of this to him?"

Sherlock looked at the older man for a moment. "It's what you would need to do to stop me."

"Okay... Then should we assume he's an escape artist?" John asked. "You can pick the lock on handcuffs, I've seen you do it."

Sherlock held up a pair of mittens with leather straps on them. "That's what these are for."

"You really have thought of everything."

"It was a simple matter of knowing what Mycroft would have to do to me if he had to lock me up." His gaze trailed to the door.

"Did Mycroft do this to you?"

"I had a habit of escaping rehab. He took me some place I couldn't get out of, yes."

A muscle in John's cheek twitched, but he didn't say anything. The detective, of course, noticed.

"It's one reason our relationship is a cool one. Help me with him." Together they lifted Moriarty onto the cross and Sherlock locked a wide belt around his waist, holding him there. "But I suppose it kept me alive long enough to find The Work." He glanced at John. "To find you."

"I suppose you should thank him then."

The detective was busy buckling Jim's hands and fingers into the mittens and then strapping them to the cross.

"I suppose…" at a knock on the door he knew who exactly it was.

"Having fun?" Mycroft asked.

"We're not doing this for fun, Mycroft," the detective spat. "It's a necessity. We're trying to save a work of art."

Mycroft gave a mocking shrug, his hands planted on his umbrella. "How very... sentimental of you."

"Oh, 'Lock," John laughed. "We are planning to have a bit of fun, though, right? After all, it may get boring after a while."

"It won't get boring."

"It will if he won't break," Mycroft put in, stepping into the room more fully and allowing the door to close behind him.

"I have several ideas that you may wish to put into play." He pulled out a device and handed it to his brother. This can be used to modulate our voices when we're ready to talk to him."

"You mean…" John glanced up at the elder Holmes and then the younger one, "he would have no idea who we are?"

"That's the idea," Mycroft said.

"Hand me that thing." John turned it on and spoke into it. "Luke I am your father." He broke off into a fit of giggles as the other two men looked at him like he had lost his mind. "Cultural reference, nevermind. Hold on," John paused. "Did you two actually just agree on something?"

"Would you mind shutting up?" Sherlock asked of the doctor. "If he wakes up and we're still here it'll be game over."

John closed his mouth, but resolved to call the detective 'git' and 'prat' at least five times before the evening was over. He knelt and buckled Moriarty's ankles into cuffs, then stood.

Sherlock inserted the earplugs and turned on the white noise - a double blind, as it were. Next came the menthol. "I believe that does it, for now."

"I hope you've noticed what I've had installed?" Mycroft's words were a question.

Sherlock nodded, but John frowned.

The older man indicated each corner individually. Each one held a camera.

"Of course, I've noticed." Sherlock glanced at the cameras. "They'll be very convenient for monitoring his progress and preventing his escape." He smiled wickedly and flicked the thermostat lower. It would get very uncomfortable very soon.

With that Sherlock walked from the room. Mycroft followed not so far behind. John remained long enough for the trussed up man to begin rousing. He patted him on the cheek, then he, too, left the room.

Moriarty slowly became aware of his surroundings, rather of his lack of awareness of his surroundings. When he tried to move, he found that his range of motion was more than severely limited, it was almost nonexistent. A low menacing growl escaped around the gag as he went into a blind rage.

Both Holmes brothers as well as John sat up in 221B watching the Irishman become as close to conscious as he could get given his rather inconvenient state. The trio were laughing heartily. It was evident that the drugs he had been given were slowly starting to wear off as his muffled and incoherent vocalisations became more frequent and he finally started thrashing in his bonds.

"It's such a pity it won't last," Mycroft said, pointing at the image of Moriarty on the screen. "He'll calm himself quicker than most."

John frowned. "Why? How do you know?"

Sherlock smirked as he answered. "I wouldn't fight long. Waste of energy. It's also pretty pointless once he works out what sort of position he's in."

"But he has no idea what toys we have in that room," the doctor observed.

On the screen, Moriarty had already calmed visibly. The quality of the cameras was such that the trio could see goose pimples rising over their prisoner's body.

"Bit mean, wasn't it, 'Lock?" The doctor questioned. "Turning the temperature down."

Sherlock shrugged. "I think after everything he did. Opposite here… the old woman… the block of flats… the little boy… mean shouldn't cover it. He'll find justice here far better than he would at the Yard, when it comes to this sort of thing, British justice sucks."

Mycroft inclined his head, "I'm afraid to admit it John, but my baby brother is right."

"Oh, he's thinking, now." Sherlock leaned closer to the screen. "He'll be trying to determine where he is and who captured him. He'll never suspect us for one simple reason."

"And that is?" John asked.

"You. He'd never consider that you'd condone such a treatment of anyone," Mycroft explained.

John snorted. "Yeah. Well, strap me in Semtex and I get a bit upset, don't I?"

"So why wouldn't he suspect Mycroft?"

"He might," Sherlock conceded. "But then again, he would have no reason to suspect him. Mycroft has no… how to put it? Beef with him."

John pulled his boyfriend down onto his lap and wrapped his arms around him. "How long do we let him chill before we start playing with him?"

Sherlock shrugged looking to his brother, as if for advice.

"Might I suggest a few things?" Mycroft asked.

"Go for it," Sherlock offered. "You're the expert in this sort of thing."

"Give him food. And a drink. Don't let him down, that would be stupid… but if you want the attention away from the pair of you, that's a good way to start."

John fetched a glass of water and some biscuits. At the Holmes brothers' odd look, he shrugged. "It's all we have. Unless you count the ears or the spoilt milk in the fridge. Who wants the honours?"

Sherlock raised an eyebrow, "He strapped Semtex to my boyfriend. Me obviously."

"Do you know someone else who would enjoy this?" Mycroft asked. "Someone that was as effected by it as you, John?"

"Gavin," Sherlock answered with a grin.

The doctor's eyebrows shot up. "Really? You'd risk bringing him in on this?"

"Remember the old woman?" Sherlock asked. "I'm quite certain Lestrade does as well." He turned to Mycroft. "But I think you should be the one to bring him in on this."

Mycroft inclined his head. "Of course. I'll send a car to collect him."

"You mean…" Sherlock frowned. "He knows?"

"Of course, Sherlock, don't be an idiot."

The detective glared at his brother. "Why would you risk that without speaking with me first?"

"Gregory is hardly an imbecile." Mycroft pointed out. "He would have noted a change in your behaviour as well as John's. It wouldn't have been long before he started asking questions."

"But we are missing out on the most obvious," Mycroft continued. The detective was still glaring. "He's my boyfriend. I wouldn't go out with an imbecile."

Sherlock blinked for a moment, then pulled a face. "How long have you been dating?"

"For over a year, 'Lock." Mycroft rolled his eyes.

"Must have deleted it." The detective shuddered.

John laughed. "Right, well are you going to go and feed the monster or can I?" The doctor stared for a moment. "Maybe we shouldn't be giving him tasty food. And they are the only things that you actually eat," John pointed out.

"Just the water, then." Sherlock grabbed a biscuit and bit into it with relish. "Yes, far too good for dear old Jim." Taking the water bottle, he headed down to C. When he entered, he stepped over to the cross and stood there for a moment, just watching. After a bit, he reached out and touched Moriarty's cheek with a single finger. The trussed up man jerked violently, letting out a string of profanities. Sherlock removed the headphones and the earplugs, using the modifier to speak to him. "If I remove the gag, you'll get a drink if you behave."

Jim turned his head immediately towards the detective. Other than that, he didn't move for several long moments. When he did, it was to nod.

Sherlock unfastened and removed the gag, setting it aside, then he held the bottle of water to Jim's lips. The consulting criminal swallowed a few sips of water, then stopped, holding a mouthful with the intention of spitting it in his captor's face.

Sherlock just casually stepped aside allowing the other man to spit the water. "Enjoying yourself?" The modified voice said from behind the prisoner.

"I. Will cut. Your eyes. Out." Moriarty spat.

"I highly doubt that." The detective walked around Jim, being sure to make enough noise to be tracked. He raised the bottle back to the man's lips. "By all means waste more by spitting it. You won't get me with any of it. You're far too stupid compared to me." That wasn't exactly true, Sherlock thought absently, but Moriarty didn't know that.

This time, Moriarty drained the bottle, sucking it dry. He knew it might be some time before he was offered more to drink. He'd held his fair share of people prisoner. Jim wasn't concerned. Not too much. He knew all the tricks, all the ways his captors would try to manipulate him and he was confident he would find his moment to act and escape.

The fact was he was overconfident and Sherlock knew it because he had no idea who had him tied up in the first place.

The detective shrugged, wedged the gag back between his teeth and dropped the headphones back over his ears. With that he headed back upstairs.

Halfway up, the outer door to 221 opened. Greg stepped in and looked down towards C. He met Sherlock's eyes and gave a nod. "I take it your houseguest is nice and comfortable. If not, good." He let the younger man pass him and followed him up to B.

Sherlock rounded on him at the door. "You could have told me you knew."

"I figured you would have deduced it." Lestrade shrugged. "Anyway, you know now."

Sherlock threw him the voice modifier. "In case you want to have a bit of fun, I'm sure my brother brought another one for me."

"I'm an officer of the law, it wouldn't be right."

"You're also in a relationship with my brother and use me to solve your cases. You know as well as I do, what he is getting doesn't compare to the damage he's caused."

"No. Quite right." He held up the modifier. "Thanks."

Inside B, Greg went straight to Mycroft's side and looked at the feed on the laptop. "I don't like it. He's too calm." He took his boyfriend's hand. "Shouldn't he be unnerved? At least a bit."

"He's overconfident, Gregory." Mycroft kissed Lestrade's knuckles. "Want to play good cop, bad cop? Sherlock's already presented himself as the providing hand. So long as he uses the same settings on the voice modulator, he can keep that up. It's ideal, really."

"Shouldn't we leave him for a bit first?"


"You know… let him stew in his juices. We do it with suspects… allows them to think things through."

"Where's the fun in that?" Sherlock put his arms around both their shoulders. "Besides, he expects that. Why play by the rules?"

"He's got a point," John agreed. "I think."

"Ok, then we turn the air con up," Mycroft offered.

Sherlock grinned. "Big brother, you're a genius."

"Did he just say that?" John asked.

The DI was looking between them, "You are enjoying yourself far too much." Then he shrugged. "Oh, well."

Greg hefted the voice modifier. "I'll turn it up," he offered. "I'd like to see how he's getting on first hand."

"Alright, Gregory." Mycroft stood. "I'll go with you." He stared at the screen a moment. "Perhaps..." He looked at his brother. "I might toy with him a bit."

"Has this got anything to do with the whole protection thing?" Sherlock complained.

Mycroft raised an eyebrow at him. "After what he did to you. And John. Yes." With that he turned and headed down the stairs with the DI.

They entered C and closed the door behind them. The elder Holmes walked over and stood, looking at Jim. He wasn't certain he was doing the right thing, indulging his brother in this. It would be so much more expedient just to kill the crminal mastermind. If the man became loyal to Sherlock, he could prove to be a useful tool. Still, he had threatened his brother... Mycroft backhanded him across the face. Jim seemed to be caught completely off guard.

It was obvious to both Mycroft and his boyfriend that Moriarty had a few witty comebacks lined up if he was given the choice.

"Should I remove the gag so he can talk?" Greg asked, his voice warped.

Mycroft shook his head no, intent on maintaining his own silence for now.

"Good. I didn't fancy listening to him whinge, anyway."

He thrashed in his bonds. Showing his teeth around the gag, he tried to spit obscenities at them.

Mycroft laughed into the voice modifier. "This is fun."

That earned him a growl from Moriarty.

"And this will be fun too." Mycroft punched him. He wanted the man to identify his modified voice as that of a clear adversary.

Greg's modified voice was a little squeakier. He should have been angry at the older man. He should have been putting his foot down. He was a copper. He protected people… and then he realised who exactly was in front of him: the man that had killed an undetermined number of people and the British Government himself.

Mycroft gave a sharp satisfied nod, then looked around for the thermostat. He walked over and set it even cooler.

Greg stepped closer to him and, his voice still modulated, asked, "Is that it?"

Mycroft chuckled evilly. "Oh no, I don't think so…"

He circled around the Irishman, knowing there wasn't a single thing Jim could do about it or even know he was doing it. He picked up something from the nearby table, then set it down and moved to the next object. He did it over and over, hoping to build up tension. Mycroft settled on the riding crop. He ran it along the underside of Moriarty's chin and then down his side. He went down his right with it and then up his left. Smacking it softly over each nipple.

Moriarty thrashed trying to pull free. He should have known by now he wasn't going to succeed.

The government official held the tip of the crop under Jim's chin and waited for the thrashing to stop. When it did, he pulled back and struck him hard across the chest.

Up in 221B Sherlock was sat comfortably on John's lap, watching the monitor. The doctor watched too, as Mycroft circled around the trussed up man, wielding the crop.

"Moriarty isn't taking it like I thought he would," John whispered, still not taking his eyes off the screen.

"Mm." Sherlock steepled his fingers beneath his chin. "Perhaps... Oh! Mycroft's missed something." He giggled. "Mycroft never misses stuff."

"Missed what?"

"Moriarty is into BDSM. We'll have to turn the intensity up a notch."

"So he thinks this is all a game?"

The detective shrugged. "For now, maybe. He knows my voice as the food one. Can you go and pull Mycroft out, I need to talk to him?

John grabbed a modulator and jogged down the stairs. Sherlock watched on the screen as his boyfriend entered C and held a brief conversation with his brother. Mycroft nodded, tossed the crop to the side, and the three men left the basement flat.

"Before you jump down my throat, Mycroft, listen," Sherlock waited until his older brother's frown had dissipated and he was prepared to listen.

Sherlock skipped back the monitor to when Mycroft first picked up the crop. "You were too busy enjoying yourself to really pay attention to what Moriarty was doing. Look." He pressed play and waited.

Mycroft frowned as he watched the scene play out. Moriarty reacted to each blow with muffled sounds and jerking limbs, but his head rested calmly back against the cross. His mouth would have been drawn into a smile if it weren't for the gag that prevented it.

"The sod was enjoying it," Mycroft growled.

"I don't think he was enjoying it to annoy you, either," Sherlock offered. "Maybe he thinks he's been taken by a friend or something? As a laugh or joke? Because if he does, we are going to have our work cut out for trying to break him."

Greg was shocked by Mycroft's sudden smile. "Myc-"

"This really won't be boring. Moriarty presents challenge." The government official looked at his brother. "This should keep you occupied for quite some time."

"Yes, Lestrade, you may have to do without my assistance on cases for a while." Sherlock bit his lip as he thought. "We need a way to make him understand that we're not his friends and this isn't a game."

"Cut his balls off?" John offered. It seemed serious until he burst out laughing.

"Of course not, John, I can have far too much fun with those."

John smacked his arse cheek. "As long as you come back to my bed, I don't care."

"Hm," Sherlock considered, "in all seriousness, it's a thought. Not cutting them off, obviously, but making him wish they were."

Greg shuddered. "It would take a hell of a lot to make a bloke wish that."

"There we go then… that's what we do," Sherlock announced. "We do the more hard core side of this… BDSM thing. The side he's least likely to enjoy."

The detective abruptly swept from the room and dashed down to the basement flat. He didn't bother with speaking or trying to be quiet. What he did was grab up several clothes pegs and turn to face Moriarty. Sherlock knew the pegs were commonly used in BDSM, but he also knew that most people only left them on briefly, several minutes at most. That was something he had no intention of doing, he'd leave them on indefinitely and replace them with something worse.

The headphones and the blindfold meant the only thing Moriarty was aware of was a change in air distribution. He had no idea who was with him or what was about to happen, so when something sharp bit into his nipple he let out a huff of surprise around his gag.

Sherlock placed a peg on the consulting criminal's other nipple, then he dropped his attention lower. He worked quickly and efficiently to run a line of pegs along Moriarty's cock and then placed several on his scrotum.

Moriarty attempted to buck, his legs in particular, but of course he wasn't going anywhere.

The door opened, but only Sherlock turned to look. It was John clearly coming to play.

"Shall we let our new pet talk?" The detective asked, his voice far deeper than usual.

The doctor inclined his head. "I think we should. Let him know who his knew owners are."

Removing the gag, Sherlock tossed it aside. Moriarty remained stubbornly silent, so the detective, tweaked the peg on his right nipple.

"Who are you?" the consulting criminal ground out.

Sherlock glanced at John with a raised eyebrow. "Let's stick to 'Master' shall we?"

"Piss off," he spat.

Just like hours before, Sherlock side stepped the spit.

"Pets need to be better behaved than that," John decided to join the conversation.

"I'm no one's pet," Moriarty spat. "I collect pets. When my people find me, you'll make fine additio-"

John punched the man in the face. Now that he had committed himself to this whole heartedly, he saw no reason to hold back. "Go ahead. Keep talking."

For some reason though, wisdom descended and Jim closed his mouth.

John patted his cheek. "There, there. Good pet."

Moriarty jerked his head around and snapped his teeth closed hard, trying to bite the hand at his cheek, but John had been watching for such a move and pulled his hand away in time.

"And now our pet is misbehaving. That simply can't be allowed."

Sherlock knelt down and began flicking at the pegs. "Good little puppy's learn when to be have." He slowly but surely began to pluck off each peg individually. Taking his time to exam each one.

"Spear," Sherlock called to John, using his pre-discussed code name. "These pegs were woefully inadequate. We need something that will make more of an impression."

"Such as?" John quizzed.

"To be discussed outside on a later date," Sherlock responded. Although his mind was racing through the varied amount of clamps he could get his hands on.

"Alright, Crash," John deferred to Sherlock's decision. "Shall we leave him for a bit?"

"Crash? What the-" Moriarty's complaint was cut off as Sherlock wedged the gag back in his mouth.

"If you're a good little doggie, you may get food in the morning."

They left him alone in the room and stopped out in the hall. When the door was shut, Sherlock let his disbelief show. "John, you surprised me."

The doctor tilted his head to the side. "We all know it's going to take more than a few playful swats to break him. I decided it was time to get started."

"Yes, but you. You're a doctor."

"So? What was the point of letting you do this if I couldn't play a part as well?"

"I suppose…" but Sherlock didn't seem convinced.

"I just think of that old lady… that block of flats."

Those things worked for the doctor, but it was the desire to preserve Moriarty's intelligence that drove Sherlock. That, and thinking of John wrapped in Semtex. He pressed John against the wall. "No matter how this turns out, never doubt that your safety comes first."

"Ok." John looked puzzled. "Where did that come from?"

Sherlock grabbed either side of his head and kissed him passionately. "I know this is hard for you. My reasonings for doing it make it hard for me too. But I need to know as well as you that you have to come first."

"Hey, I know that." John grabbed him by the wrists and held on tight. "Don't ever doubt it. We're just defusing a rather unconventional bomb."