A/N: Short little epilogue, put together very quickly because I was inspired and couldn't sleep. Enjoy.
Innes Doyle had during his short life not yet mastered the art of arriving in a home quietly, or at least he had not taken to practicing it. Reaching the home of Doctor Bell he barged through the door, announcing his presence with a loud yell.
Said man soon appeared from a room Innes had learned was the laboratory, dressed in a chemical stained apron.
"Innes, my lad!" the man greeted his young houseguest, "It is not quite polite to shout, you know."
Innes seemed fairly unconcerned by the reprimand, but apologized nevertheless.
"I'm sorry", he said, "Where's Arthur?"
Bell smiled, not bothered by the boy's lack of reaction to his admonishment, and gestured to the stairs.
"In the guestroom, upstairs."
Innes immediately took off, climbing the stairs not quite two steps at a time, though that was not for lack of trying. The door to the guestroom was closed and Innes knocked loudly.
"Arthur!" he said loudly, "Open up, Arthur!"
Within moments his older brother had opened the door and greeted Innes with a smile. Arthur Doyle was looking decidedly disheveled; his hair ruffled, shirt un-tucked and the three top buttons undone and eyes red-rimmed.
"Innes", he said, "I'm sorry."
Then he bent down and embraced his brother, hard. Innes found his face muffled against the fabric of Arthur's shirt and his ribs squeezed almost painfully hard.
"I'm sorry…" Arthur muttered again, "So sorry."
Innes quite honestly thought his brother was overreacting. Sure, he had been really scared when Arthur didn't come home that night, but Arthur was here now and he was fine. Besides, Innes was more interested in whether Doctor Bell really had smacked his older brother.
"'S all right", Innes said, and when Arthur still showed no signs of letting go he wriggled and pushed at his brother, "Get off!"
Arthur finally let go and took a step backwards. Innes used the opportunity to enter the room and take a seat on the bed, bouncing slightly as he did so.
"Are you all right?" Arthur asked and Innes nodded happily. They said nothing more for a moment and Innes considered his brother's appearance. He had cried, that much was obvious, and that Doctor Bell had indeed done what he'd said he would seemed a plausible explanation.
"Arthur?" he said and his brother nodded, "Did Doctor Bell smack you?"
His older brother blushed furiously and crossed his arms, trying to look stern. He was not succeeding very well, Innes thought, at least not compared to Doctor Bell.
"That's none of your business!" Arthur snapped. Innes grinned. This was something he could have a lot of fun teasing his brother about.
"He did!" he exclaimed, "You got smacked!"
The last he said in a sing-song voice, trying to decide on an appropriate tune to add the words to. Arthur growled, half teasingly, and suddenly pounced on his younger brother, pushing him down on the bed and tickling his sides fervently.
"You little brat!" he said, "Is that any way to treat your older brother?"
Innes was giggling too much to answer, instead merely wriggling under Arthur's grasp and begging for mercy. He managed to escape his brother's clutches and jumped off from the bed, sticking his tongue at Arthur before making for the door. His brother, of course, followed.
They chased down the stairs and after rounding a few corners in a rather undignified manner Arthur caught up with Innes and effortlessly wrestled him down on the floor, beginning to tickle him once again. Innes fought back insistently, poking at his brother's sides and trying to push him off with his legs. Soon they were rolling on the floor like puppies.
A voice soon interrupted their scuffle. Doctor Bell was standing in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest and looking half amused, half exasperated.
"Boys…" he said, and hesitated, seemingly unsure whether to interrupt their game or not. Then he seemed to decide and shook his head with an indulgent smile before turning to leave again, "Do mind the furniture, will you?"
Thank you for reading, please review!