AN: This is like almost entirely AU on the Sherlock side because of the plot I wanted for it. So basically, I'm trying to keep it mostly in line with the show but also I have other ideas for it and I will alter whatever I damn well please about this because I can. That is all.
Dedicated to Terr-Bear (otherwise known as EmptyThoughts) because she forced me to write it after she read the plot and also because I love her.
Timeline of this consists basically of pre/during!A Study in Pink, and post!Scorpia Rising.
If you don't know who Alex Rider is, look it up on Wikipedia. I had it all typed up, and then I lost it because FF is flipping shit, so.
This is the first in my homes out of human beings verse. Hopefully the next installment will be up soon.
Disclaimer: Not mine; Alex Rider belongs to Anthony Horrowitz, and Sherlock belongs to the BBC, Stephen Moffat, and Mark Gaitiss.
It takes two hours for Alex to realize that he's not suited to suburban life with the Pleasures. It takes them two months and three school incidents to realize the same thing.
They're on Spring holiday in Cornwall again, and Alex is padding down the hallway to get a glass of water in the middle of the night, having awoken from another nightmare, when he overhears Mr. Pleasure say his name in the living room.
Alex pauses in his tracks, waiting just inside the hallway to hear what Mr. Pleasure is saying.
"I don't know what we should do about him," Mr. Pleasure is saying with a heavy sigh. "It's been two months, and he still treats us like strangers."
"Alex needs time," Mrs. Pleasure says, her voice soft, a stark contrast against the sound of waves crashing over the shore outside of the beach house. "His guardian just died. You can't expect him to readjust to civilian life so quickly."
Mr. Pleasure doesn't say anything for a moment, and Alex leans against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest and drawing in on himself.
"He's been in three fights since starting school," Mr. Pleasure finally says. "Two of the boys ended up in the hospital."
"They pushed him," Mrs. Pleasure argues, but her voice is doubtful, and Alex wonders how long they'll let him stay before they realize he can't be fixed that easily.
He turns away from the living room and makes his way back into the room he's staying in, brusquely packing his things into a bag and hoisting the window open as quietly as he can to keep it from creaking. Alex almost laughs, because he's sure the Pleasures wouldn't be able to hear the window creaking over the waves, but then he remembers that he's leaving them, and the desire to laugh fades.
It's for their own good, Alex tells himself, but these days, it's hard to remember where the line between protecting others and protecting himself lies.
Alex makes it to London before he runs out of spare cash, and then he realizes that he doesn't like living in London without money, because people are rude and the streets are cold and wet and he gets lost far more often than someone born and bred in London should.
It shouldn't take this long to find his old house in Chelsea, but Alex is running low on food and sleeping on the streets is grueling and he really, really, really misses the Pleasures.
He'll be okay, though. He's doing this for them, after all.
Alex isn't really sure what possesses him to stop and press his nose up against the glass of the sandwich bar, but his stomach is growling and he's starving and really, pinching a sandwich or two is looking more and more tempting by the second.
Instead of going into the sandwich shop, Alex decides it'll be easier and less conspicuous to break into the flat above it. He picks the lock on the door easily, pushing it shut behind him as he climbs the stairs and heads towards the kitchen.
Alex has a handful of crisps in his mouth and a box of biscuits tucked under his arm when he finds the severed hand in the refrigerator. Fuck, he thinks, spitting out some of the crisps in surprise. What the bloody hell have I gotten myself into?
Downstairs, a door is thrown open loudly, and angry shouts fill the air as someone stomps up the steps of the flat.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck," Alex mutters under his breath, swallowing the crisps and slamming the refrigerator door shut, staring at the box of biscuits. "I break into the house of a probably psychotic serial killer, and he comes home."
Alex looks around the kitchen for a place to hide, but in the end, he's just standing in the middle of the kitchen with the biscuits hanging awkwardly at his side when the man bursts into the room.
Tall, clean-shaven, middle aged. The man stops in his tracks at the sight of Alex, a suitcase clutched in his hands.
"Who the hell are you?" the man asks, blinking.
Alex blinks back, opening his mouth to answer, but then two other people step into the room—a curvy woman with springy curls, and another middle aged man with greying hair and an air of authority about him.
"God, this flat is rank," the woman mutters, not noticing Alex. "It wouldn't kill the freak to clean once in a while."
There's a badge fastened on the top of her blazer—on all of their blazers. Fucking hell, Alex thinks. The cops are already here.
"Who the hell are you?" the second man asks, staring at Alex.
Alex stares back, slowly pulling a handful of biscuits out of the box and shoving them into his mouth. Might as well eat as much as I can before I get arrested, he thinks, and he has another handful on its way to his mouth before he's even swallowed the first.
"We're from Scotland Yard," the first man says, looking him over and pointing at his badge. "We're here legally."
They don't know I don't live here, Alex realizes. And all of a sudden, he's in the home stretch.
"Yeah?" Alex asks, swallowing the biscuits. "So am I. What the hell are you doing in my kitchen?"
He almost laughs when the man squirms uncomfortably.
"Wait," the second man says, crossing his arms over his chest and giving Alex an unimpressed look. "You live with Sherlock Holmes?"
"Why else would I be standing in his kitchen?" Alex retorts, and pops another biscuit into his mouth.
"But the freak doesn't live with anyone," the woman says, her brow wrinkling slowly. "We were just here two weeks ago. You weren't here."
Alex blinks. "I was busy."
"Doing what?" the woman asks, barking out a laugh. "You're a teenager."
Alex rolls his eyes in annoyance. "Teenagers do things. I mean, I know it's been a long time since you were a teenager, but surely you haven't already forgotten what you did in your spare time."
The three detectives stare at him. Alex stares back, shoving a handful of biscuits into his mouth defiantly. He arches a brow, challenging them.
They back down.
"So, you live with Holmes," the older man says, nodding thoughtfully. "How'd that arrangement come to be, then?"
Alex flounders for an answer, but in the end, he doesn't have to find one. Another man bounces into the room on the balls of his feet, brushing past the three detectives.
"He's just a stray," the man says, all tousled curls and electric eyes and sharp angles as he elbows past Alex to get into the fridge. "Part of the Homeless Network. I keep him around because he amuses me. Does it truly matter who I choose to let live in my flat, Lestrade?"
"Is that a hand in your fridge, Freak?" the woman blurts out, looking over the man's shoulder.
The man—Sherlock, Alex decides—rolls his eyes, pulling out the hand and tossing it onto the countertop. The woman's face twists up in disgust.
"You may as well continue on with your pretend drugs bust before I decide to ask for a warrant," Sherlock snaps, waving his own hand at the three detectives. "I'm afraid you won't find anything, but please, keep looking."
Alex opens his mouth to comment, but he bites back anything he might say. He's fortunate enough to have Sherlock Holmes pretend he does, in fact, live with him, but he's still not convinced that Sherlock isn't a serial killer and is only helping him so that he can kill him after the detectives leave.
On second thought, maybe Alex should get himself arrested.
The detectives give Alex a few more doubtful looks before leaving the kitchen, and Alex blurts out, "I'm suddenly really glad I don't do drugs." Despite what Brookland thought, he tacks on mentally.
"I don't have that luxury," Sherlock mutters in reply, and looks Alex over with a sharp eye. He sighs sharply. "What's your name, then? And don't bother lying, or I'll call Lestrade back in and tell him I have no idea who you are."
"Your full name, please."
Alex scowls. "Alex Rider."
Sherlock shrugs. "You may take the couch until I tire of your existence. If Mrs. Hudson asks, you're a charity case."
"What?" Alex asks, but then the older detective—Lestrade—reenters the kitchen.
"We didn't find anything," he says, staring intently at Sherlock. "Look, Holmes, if you've hid the evidence—"
"I haven't hidden any evidence!" Sherlock barks, cutting him off. "Either make an arrest or get the hell out of my flat, Lestrade."
So the detectives depart without arresting Alex or Sherlock, and then it's just the two of them and a severed hand standing in Sherlock's kitchen.
"They do that often?" Alex asks after a moment of silence.
Alex nods, staring at the severed hand. "Did you really steal police evidence?"
"Obviously." Sherlock rolls his eyes. "They were going to ruin it if they got their hands on it."
Alex raises an eyebrow. "I'd ask you to elaborate, but I'm not sure I want to know. I do, however, have to ask—the hand?"
"Not mine," Sherlock says, shrugging, and picks it up off of the counter on his way out of the kitchen.
Alex stares after him. "Bloody hell," he mutters. "What have I gotten myself into?"
"Gang?" Sherlock asks as he pours over evidence from a crime scene and Alex eats the Chinese food Sherlock ordered for him.
"What's that?" Alex glances up at Sherlock, raising a brow.
"It was a gang, wasn't it?" Sherlock doesn't look up from the documents he's shuffling through.
Sherlock sighs grumpily, glancing up at Alex. "Where you got your scars. It was a gang, wasn't it?"
Alex stares at Sherlock for a long time before speaking. "Sure," he says at last, even if MI6 isn't technically a gang.
Sherlock nods, and goes back to silently pouring over his papers.
Alex pulls down his shirt where it had ridden up to reveal one of the bomb scars on his hip, and waits for Sherlock to speak again.
Sherlock never does. So Alex doesn't, either, and before he knows it, they've settled into a comfortable routine together.
Alex has been living in Sherlock's flat for a month when Sherlock brings the man home. He's short and blond, with blue-grey eyes and a deep tan, and even though he's limping along on a cane, he still carries himself like Alex used to see soldiers at Brecon Beacons do.
As Mrs. Hudson bustles around the flat and offers the soldier tea and biscuits, Alex sizes Sherlock up.
"Bringing home another stray? What, am I not good enough for you?" Alex deadpans, stretching out on the couch.
Sherlock rolls his eyes. "You can't even drive. You're useless."
Alex pokes his tongue out at him, and then the soldier is staring at both of them. "I didn't know you have a son," the man says, and Alex chokes.
"Son?" he says, blanching. Sherlock looks similarly disturbed.
"No, he's not—"
"No, I'm just…" And Alex trails off, unsure how to finish.
"Oh," the man says, and a somewhat horrified look crosses his features. "Oh, so you two are—okay. Right."
That's almost worse, Alex thinks, trying not to gag. "Fuck, no. Sherlock and I—no. He's like an annoying older brother who doesn't know how to feed himself."
"And who has it in his power to kick you out of his flat," Sherlock retorts.
"Except he wouldn't because he's too fond of me," Alex returns.
The man looks back and forth between them, and Alex climbs to his feet, tossing the book he was reading onto the couch.
"I'm Alex," he tells the man.
"John Watson." John looks around the flat. "If there's not enough room for all three of us—"
"Why wouldn't there be?" Sherlock interrupts, blinking. "There's a spare bedroom. Alex sleeps on the couch because he's always torn between staying and leaving. There's plenty of room."
John looks confused, and Alex decides John might not be too awful of an addition to the flat. So he takes his exit, tossing over his shoulder as he leaves the room, "Remember, never kiss him on the first date!"
Alex is in the kitchen, digging around for food, when the door downstairs crashes open and he here's someone shout, "Scotland Yard!"
He straightens up, closing the cabinet door. "What do you want?" he hollers back, but Mrs. Hudson's voice drifts up to him as she tries to diffuse the situation.
Lestrade and the rest of the detectives finally make it upstairs just as Alex is pouring a bowl of cereal. He glares up at them and refrains from throwing a spoon at them.
"He's not here," he says, spooning his cereal into his mouth. "But please, have a look around for drugs. Don't mind me, I'm just having dinner."
"You're still here?" Lestrade asks incredulously.
Alex shrugs. "I don't have anywhere else to be tonight. You're welcome to come back this weekend when I have plans, if you really don't want me here while you illegally search the flat for drugs."
"I see why the freak keeps him around," the woman from before snorts, sliding on a pair of plastic gloves.
Lestrade shifts uncomfortably, then motions to his crew. "Keep searching," he orders. Then he turns back to Alex. "You don't happen to know if he, uh, has any evidence hidden around here?"
Alex rolls his eyes. "I refrain from getting involved with his consulting detective life. Have fun searching, Detective."
John is incredulous when he and Sherlock return, and Alex almost laughs at how John handles the situation—John isn't going anywhere any time soon.
And then Sherlock is missing, and John is chasing after him, and Detective Lestrade and his men follow after them.
When Sherlock and John return, Alex lowers the volume on the telly and asks, "Did you shoot anyone?"
"John did," Sherlock says brusquely, and Alex hears it in his voice. The subtle amazement, admiration, adoration.
Alex almost laughs, but he doesn't. They'll figure it out later.
Alex finds them making out on the couch exactly two months later, and he only rolls his eyes and announces that he's going to enroll in some classes in the fall to make up for the year of education he's more or less missed, and then he leaves them to it.