Rating: PG-13 for judicial corporal punishment
Spoilers: Up to and through The Reichenbach Fall
Summary: When Sherlock and John take a case aboard, things quickly go wrong and both of them will return home with more scars than what they left with. Written for Round 3 of the hurt_comfort bingo community using the corporal punishment for the wild card slot.
Disclaimers: I don't own Sherlock or any of its characters as it belongs to the BBC, Steven Moffat. Mark Gatiss, and Arthur Conan Doyle. I've made nothing from this and I expect to not be sued as a result!
Upon seeing him Warden Hou said, “If you truly mean to take his place, then strip.”
John felt his face burn with the humiliation of the warden's order but began to comply with it, relieved when halfway through the removal of his clothing they began to untie Sherlock from the trestle. With the release of the last leather strap holding him to the frame, Sherlock collapsed but did not hit the floor as the guards held him up between them and John watched as they carried him from the room.
“He'll be taken to the infirmary for preliminary medical treatment until the people from your consulate arrive,” Hou answered John's unspoken question.
John nodded but said nothing as he removed the last of his clothes, taking a deep breath as his vest fell to the floor.
“Anytime you're ready, Dr Watson,” the warden prompted when he didn't make.
John nodded, “Right, let's get this over with then.”
The guards did not lead him to the trestle, but stood by it, ready to tie the straps that would hold into place. Which they did very efficiently. Finally when the protection for his lower back was strapped into place.
While the same brute of a man who had caned Sherlock took his place by the trestle, the memory of the time or two he'd been caned in school flashed through John's mind and he wished with all of his might that he could be that boy again who faced the wrath of his teacher instead. He knew as much it had hurt at that had hurt at the time, the cane they'd used in school was smaller, not as nearly thick as this one, and he hadn't been forced to remove every stitch of clothing before being punished.
"I understand," John ground out, gritting his teeth. "Let's just get it over with.”
The last of his words were just dying down when the first stroke landed, and John blinked in surprise when at first all he felt was a warm burning sensation, that while very uncomfortable, wasn't anything he couldn't handle. But then as he waited for the second stroke, the pain grew, and soon it felt like someone was pressing a fiery red poker into his backside. By the time the second stroke landed, he had begun to quiver from the pain, and he groaned as every nerve in his body echoed the painful sensation. When the third stroke landed, the pain went from unbearable to excruciating and John screamed with every stroke afterwards.
Through the haze of pain, John was vaguely aware of the number of strokes they'd given, and how many that meant he had left. He breathed out with relief as the seventh one came, and he waited for the guards to release him from the trestle. But instead of them moving forward to untie him, the cane bit down on his backside again, drawing a surprised scream.
By the time the guards had untied his bonds, and John straightened up, the only other person left in the room besides the guards was Dr Chowdhury. “Are you able to walk, Dr Watson?”
“I think so.”
“You have a few bleeding welts on your backside and if you'll come with me to the infirmary, I'll treat your wounds.”
“If you don't mind I would at least like to put on my pants so I won't be completely naked while walking through the prison,” John replied, and he over painfully to retrieve them from the floor.
Chowdhury nodded to one of the guards who produced a sheet.”If you prefer to wrap yourself in this, it'll save you the trouble of having to remove them again once we reached infirmary.”
“Won't Warden Hou be displeased?” John asked as he accepted the sheet gratefully.
The doctor nodded. “Yes, but given the fact you shouldn't have been caned in the first place I doubt he'll say anything.” He waited until John had the sheet wrapped comfortably yet securely around him before motioning for John to go ahead of him. “I'll have to direct you to the infirmary but it's wiser for you to walk in front of me in case there are any unforeseen consequences.”
Like me passing out from the bloody awful pain, John thought but chose not to speak aloud. Instead he walked slowly towards the door, grateful to leave behind this torture chamber.