"Because I cannot, brother."
Mycroft rested casually against the long pillars outside of his little brother's quarters. Sherlock was refusing for the third time to accept the mission laid out for them by the council. Smugly Mycroft wondered how much longer he should let Sherlock fight him before bringing the younger Jedi to heel. His brother's arms were crossed, his brow furrowed with another forming argument.
"John's shoulder still pains him, he still has night terrors, I am exiled, and my brand, Mycroft. I cannot go back."
Mycroft pushed himself from the marble slowly, relishing his moment over his brother. "The council commands it, Sherlock. Yoda himself has ordered you with me."
His brother turned, dramatic as ever, his lip held between his teeth.
"I refuse it."
"I could order you as the higher rank."
Sherlock cast him a dark look. "I'd like to see you try."
"Master Yoda, then," Mycroft said arrogantly. "You and he have always had a close relationship."
His brother ran both hands through his hair, mussing his already unruly curls.
If only the elders of their village had named him something different. Something to please their father, Sherlock never would have known the sting of the Sith's wrath. Sherlock may have never left their mother's side, he could have grown up happy.
Despite their differences, that thought often pained him.
"Sherlock, we won't let them see your brand. Your identity will be concealed, I only need a fellow Gorian for your nature and for your past. Moriarty seeks our home, we must convince Goria to side with the Republic."
"It is not me I worry for." The look Sherlock gave him was near to pleading. "Bastards cannot have bastards. John stinks of me, he is all but mine. No don't look at me like that," Sherlock snapped as his brother raised two unconvinced eyebrows. "By their standards, he is my cub. He is only my padawan to me, you know this."
He knew exactly what the padawan was to his brother.
"Our planet does not enjoy outsiders, you must come. On this mission you shall be Master Sigerson Rathbone, your padawan need not accompany us if you are concerned."
Sherlock snorted. "You do not know John."
He turned away, neither accepting nor declining the mission. He stalked back into his quarters, the door slamming back in Mycroft's face.
The master sighed.
He took it as acceptance.
His nine year old was peeping over their sofa.
"Little one," Sherlock said with soft annoyance. John's blue eyes were doing their best to appear innocent, but excitement was weedling its way into his face. At last the padawan dropped the façade and ran to his teacher breathlessly.
"You accepted it!" The boy tugged eagerly at his sleeves. "You accepted Master Mycroft's mission!"
"Not willingly." Sherlock ran a hand over the growing boy's hair. John frowned at his master's displeasure, leaning forward to rest his forehead against Sherlock's side. The knight allowed his padawan's comfort for only a moment before twisting away.
"Have you completed your lessons for the day, John?"
The boy shifted uneasily.
His padawan sucked in a deep breath. "Master Plo would like to speak to you about my performance in sabers' class today."
If the boy was doing something wrong why hadn't Mycroft told him?
Sherlock quirked an eyebrow, resulting in a guilty look from his apprentice.
So it was treachery then.
Taking a small step closer, he pulled the child closer. His sharp gaze ran over the boy's tense figure. He gave a small sniff and stepped back.
"Stars, John. Again?"
"It wasn't my fault, Master! Honest!"
John had managed to, once again, destroy one of the temples training sabers. It was obvious from the stench of burning metal and ash under the boy's ears. He had been forbidden from using his full light saber and had successfully broken six trainers before this. Sherlock gave the boy a small shake.
"If you continue down this path-"
"I know, I know, I know," his padawan waved a dismissive hand.
"I had one hundred and forty four by the time I was knighted. Do try not to pass me, padawan." Sherlock bent to nip the boy's ear rather roughly and rose to his standing position. John danced around his feet.
"So we can go? To see your home planet, I mean. That's so wizard, Master!" John flopped on their sofa, his pack was discarded neatly in the corner next to his boots and robe. The child stretched himself out with a soft yawn. "You could see your mum again."
Sherlock rolled his eyes and made the boy scoot. "You live in delusion, little one. I have been exiled from my home planet, you know this. If do see my mother, it will not be for a grand reuniting."
"I dunno, Master." John laid his head in Sherlock's lap and gazed up at him. "If I saw my mother again, I'd at least say hi."
"Would you extend the same courteousy to your father?" Sherlock caressed the blond hair tenderly.
"No," the boy said darkly.
Sherlock bent forward to kiss the smooth brow. "It would not be wise to see any who would know my name, John."
His padawan accepted the answer with grace. Truthfully the boy was probably overjoyed to see his master's home world. John was rare like that, delighting in what no one else would. His padawan fell asleep in his lap shortly after.
There was an eerie feeling about the mission he could not shake.
John was eagerly packing his things.
The idea of a mission with both Master Mycroft and Master Sherlock sent him into a joyous frenzy. He stuffed Mako in his bag last, even though he was now nine years old his companion still proved useful.
Master had an unusual hard time saying no when the boy was curled around his bear, giving him pleading looks.
Plus his mother had given it to him, and he was not keen to part with it.
Even if he was nine standard.
John shouldered his pack happily and ran to find his master in the doorway. A look of pure distain was plastered across his face. John felt his grin sliding slowly away, Sherlock did not comfort him.
"I suppose a long lecture about doing what I say is unnecessary," he said glumly.
"I can remember the last one," John grumbled back.
With a stiff nod, Sherlock guided his padawan from their quarters. His less than delightful mood never changed, in fact the closer they came to the hangar bay, the darker his mood became. They trudged silently down the grand hall side by side, John noticed his mentor's stiffening posture. John stopped him suddenly.
"Can't you tell Master Mycroft no?" John asked quietly. "You don't want to go, and he shouldn't make you."
Sherlock sighed. "My brother has gotten the whole council behind him, John. It is unlikely that I can refuse."
"Why do they want you so bad?" John asked as they started walking once more. His teacher simply shrugged.
Master always shrugged when he was done talking. It drove John bantha mad sometimes.
Mycroft was waiting for them, leaning boredly against their shuttle. Sherlock scowled and stalked pass him without so much as a greeting. John rolled his eyes and bowed deeply to his second favorite master. Mycroft bowed elegantly in response.
"Still not taking after Sherlock, I see," the master said coolly.
"He's in a bad mood," John said with another eye roll. "There are times when he can be polite."
"I shall have to take your word for it, youngling."
John cringed. He did not hate the word, because Jedi did not hate.
But he really, really, really disliked it.
"Come along, John," his master called from the ship. The boy bounded up the stairs two at a time, with excitement clear in his face. His master may not have been happy about their destination, but flying was always John's favorite past time.
"Master, may I sit with the pilot?" he begged.
"Little one," his master scolded halfheartedly, "put your things away first. I grow weary of cleaning up behind you."
John snorted. "Yes, Master. Forgive my uncleanness, and the experiments I leave lying about the quarters."
Sherlock smirked and pulled his child closer with a guiding hand on the back of the young neck. John peered up at his teacher, mirroring his eyebrow quirk.
"Brat," Sherlock said fondly.
The boy reward him with a grin of flat white teeth, Sherlock carded his hand through the blond hair almost happily. John pressed his head into the strong stomach, relishing his master's comfort and sighed. "Feeling less useless, Master?"
It earned him a low chuckle. "Less useless, my wayward brat."
The unspoken word, attachment, breezed through the Force, but by now the warning was simply ignored. They were long since pass that.
"Go," Sherlock dismissed his padawan with a firm tug of the ear. The boy leaned into his master's leg briefly, before obediently scampering off to sit with the polit.
He passed an angry looking Mycroft in the hall.
Honestly, his brother could not take a joke.
"I reek of him!"
"Calm yourself, brother mine. It will only last the flight. Besides I thought you admired Dooku." Sherlock had spent the day before concocting a vial of Dooku's scent and had left it in his brother's quarters to smash as well as scent him. If he was going to be miserable, so was Mycroft.
Mycroft openly seethed. "He is not someone I wish to stink of!"
Sherlock threw his hands in the air angrily, "Well Dooku smells better than your sire! Besides it won't last. You've chosen your scent, it's as good as in stone."
"My sire? Our father," Mycroft said pointedly.
Sherlock shook his head slightly.
No. No, his father had passed on four years ago.
And Sherlock had taken his scent.
"It will wear off," Sherlock repeated in a bored fashion. Adults' scents could not change permanently, they might be temporarily masked, but not changed. A child's scent could be changed several times until the age of twenty standard. It made it imperative that John smelt like him as often as possible.
Sherlock's fingers drummed listlessly on his chair's arms. Contemplating going to find John, he began raising from his chair. The boy's curiosity in ships often brought his teacher silent glee. The questions the boy asked were creative and genuine, the questions of a child with a bright future.
His brother's strong arm stopped him.
"I was wondering, since you were so worried about John being thought of as your cub, if you would let me scent him," Mycroft said smugly.
"It isn't as though you are overly attached to the boy."
Sherlock growled low. "And when they wonder why my padawan stinks of you?"
"You forget, brother mine, I smell like Dooku now. If I scent him, he would smell of neither of us."
He hated how clever his brother was.
John should not have been used against him, especially by another Jedi. Mycroft was using the boy purely for revenge about his early deeds, it would not be stood for.
"Move, Mycroft. He has a better chance smelling like me than your former master." Sherlock shoved pass his brother, trying to curb his rage.
That insufferable, low-life, unintelligent, hundark.
John sat in the co-pilot's seat, running his hands over different controls.
His master mused silently from the doorway as his padawan was taught the different gears, dials, and switches. The flesh of the boy's lip tucked under his teeth in thought. With his mind occupied the youngster didn't sense his master, until he was being lifted up and sat in a lap. Sherlock dismissed the pilot curtly and turned to the controls.
"Take the wheel," he said lightly.
John looked at him nervously.
"Just like an overgrown speeder," Sherlock assured.
"Yeah, okay," the boy's voice wavered as he obeyed. Sherlock began pointing out different dials and switches. The child was merely happy there were no pedals to humiliate him with their distance. Sherlock held the wheel over John's tiny hands, telling him the slightest move would change the ships direction. John frowned, but kept his hands steady. Sherlock released him.
"Eyes forward, if we hit something Mycroft will lecture me until our oxygen runs out."
His padawan giggled. Sherlock placed a soft kiss on the smooth temple, his child's brow furrowed in concentration. "I'm doing it, Master!"
"Clearly, little one. I am not blind."
Sherlock let himself lean forward and adjust the speed to a higher setting. John grimaced, but felt Sherlock's confidence in him over their bond. The knight was holding him around the waist, carefully scanning the area ahead. He had to make sure John was not flying into any danger zones.
But his padawan did admirably.
Sherlock let the boy pilot for two hours before growing bored. He hefted the child pilot out of the seat and alerted the professional pilot to come back. Objection flowed through the Force as his padawan eyed the controls, Sherlock lay a warning hand on the healthy shoulder.
With a small scowl the child followed him out reluctantly.
"Jedi, do not brood, youngling," his master corrected sternly.
"I have known a Jedi to sulk before, Master," his padawan said dangerously close to arguing.
Sherlock swept the boy over his shoulder, jolting him roughly until the indignant squawks became giggles. He was half temped to throw the boy in the air, but noted the low ceilings. He was content to hold his child for a moment.
"What is it, little one?"
"I am hungry…"
Of course he was.