Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock. I'm just borrowing from the BBC so I can amuse myself.

An Interesting Encounter

Taking the fact there was a serial killer on the loose into consideration, Detective Inspector Lestrade believed he had enough to deal with at this moment in time. It would seem that whoever or whatever fate was it didn't quite agree. Lestrade had only been at the crime scene ten minutes when he got the call from his superior. Apparently some high up official wanted to talk to him about his use of a consulting detective and, rather than wait at his office, this official was quite happy to travel across London and disturb him while he was attending to his latest crime scene. He couldn't stand it when politics and bureaucracy interfered with police work. However, he had been promptly informed that if this VIP felt in any way unwelcome it would be Lestrade that would be getting it in the neck. Yes, Lestrade really did think he had enough to deal with. After all fate had already dropped Sherlock Holmes on him.

His thoughts were disturbed by the radio in his hand crackling to life as Donovan informed him that their visitor was here. Lestrade let out a sigh and prepared himself for something he was sure would be anything but pleasant.

The man that arrived was exactly what he'd expected. He both held himself and spoke like someone who had lived a privileged life and had enjoyed the luxury of an expensive education. Lestrade was far from in the mood to deal with someone that believed they had right of way over everyone else because Daddy bought them a place at Oxford, and secretly he was looking forward to the moment that this man saw the body. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that he'd probably never seen a dead person before and if he had then they certainly wouldn't have been in this state. Maybe it'd even be enough to convince the man to visit the detective at a more convenient time.

As the man approached it became apparent that Lestrade was out of luck. His visitor looked over at the remains before seemingly dismissing them without even a hint of shock or disgust. (Right, so maybe he wasn't dealing with your average bureaucrat after all.)The man wasted no time in getting down to business. He asked how he had met Sherlock, what made him keep going back to him for help, did he think he could be trusted and then finally he requested that he be able to speak with the rest of Lestrade's team. You didn't have to be a genius to realise it wouldn't be a good idea. Tensions always run high when there's a serial killer on the loose; there's no way of predicting what might be said. To make matters worse the focus of their conversation was making his way over. That's the last thing he needs now. God knows what Sherlock might do.

"Look Mr..." Lestrade froze. He didn't know his name. How on earth had he not realised that he hadn't gotten the guy's name? He cursed himself inwardly, this was an embarrassing mistake to again, it wasn't like the man had made any effort to introduce himself...

"Oh I didn't introduce myself? How rude of me." Lestrade knew this wasn't the type of man to simply forget common social graces unless there was a good reason. "My name is..."


The new, and rather loud, addition to their conversation made Lestrade jump. Wait... Mycroft? He turned to look at tall man now standing beside him and then looked back at... Mycroft.

"You know him?"

"Hm, yes, I suppose there's no point in keeping up a pretence now he is here, and I was so hoping to hear your team's honest opinion about my brother."

Now that was not on his list of things he expected to hear. (Although it did explain why the man had been quite happy to avoid introductions) It somehow seemed wrong for Sherlock Holmes to have brother. Or any family at all. It made him seem too... human.

"Brother?.. He's your...? You have a brother?"

Sherlock waved off his question with more than just an air of irritation. For once he didn't feel annoyed at him for doing so. It had been a stupid question but his mind was still trying to process this new piece of information.

Sherlock folded his arms across his chest and looked at his brother suspiciously.

"What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you. You weren't answering your phone, or email and you haven't been home as of late. I was... curious." Lestrade had a strange feeling that he didn't want to know how it was obvious to Mycroft that Sherlock had been elsewhere. It all seemed rather... underhand. Despite this Sherlock seemed unperturbed by the idea of his movements being monitored. But at least he now knew Mycroft wasn't just here to investigate his team and their use of the world's only consulting detective. It was a slight consolation.

"So, what is it you want? It must be something exceptionally important. After all you've gotten off your fat backside and left your precious office. Are you sure the country won't come to stand still without your guiding hand?"

Mycroft made a point of ignoring his brother's attempt to bait him and answered his brother's question with a question of his own. ("Does a man need a reason to seek out his little brother?")In Lestrade's mind there was no doubt that this had been done with every intent of antagonising Sherlock further. The tension was unbelievable. He never really cared for getting involved in people's family affairs (except for when his job called for it) but in this case...

Ah. He had a perfect and rather simple idea.

"Yes, well, while this could get rather interesting I did call you here for a reason, a reason that is currently starting to smell worse by the minute. So if you could please get to work it'd be appreciated."

He almost felt proud of himself. There's no better way to distract Sherlock Holmes then to remind him there's a mangled victim of an interesting crime only a few feet away.

Although that relief, and distraction, didn't last long. Sherlock had only taken 5 steps towards the cadaver before he whirled around with the same intensity in his eyes that was usually only present when he'd solved a case. This time the intensity was focused upon his brother. Again.

"That's it! That's how you knew to come here. Lestrade texted me. You've been monitoring my texts!"

Mycroft let out a what sounded like a long suffering sigh, looking at the floor and then back at Sherlock with a bored expression.

"I've told you, I only occupy a minor position in the British government. I don't have access to any form of technology capable of interfering with your texts nor do I know if such technology even exists. You're being paranoid. Again."

The look Sherlock gave next was also one Lestrade was very familiar with. It was the face he pulled when he was just about to be incredibly offensive in a rather clever way. Suddenly Lestrade found himself feeling very much like Jeremy Kyle. Except Jeremy probably had it easier; he dealt with screwed up idiots and right now Lestrade was stuck between a self-proclaimed high functioning sociopath and his government employed brother.

"Sherlock if you're going to do nothing but argue with your brother then you're of no use. I can't hold back the actual investigators for long..." A thought suddenly struck Lestrade "Anderson will be along in a minute anyway."

At the mention of Anderson Sherlock's face visibly twisted. This time he did walk all the way to the body. He got on with his task quietly and seemingly without further complaint. However the slight clenching of his jaw told an entirely different story. Whatever this was it certainly wasn't over. Lestrade felt the distinct signs of a headache coming on.

"You're very good with him."

The comment caught Lestrade off guard. He opened his mouth to reply but found he didn't actually know what to say. Well what could you say to something like that? Mycroft continued;

"He must cause you a world of problems. Maybe even some dissension in the ranks... There must be some people who don't agree with his involvement. And then there's his... eccentricities."

He'd been right about it not being over.

"I solve more problems than I cause and quite frankly half the idiots..." "The grown ups are talking now, Sherlock. You just carry on playing with your corpse."

Lestrade found himself thanking whatever god there was out there that Sherlock had been cut off before he could go off on yet another rant about how everyone who worked for the Metropolitan Police was incompetent and idiotic. But no matter how thankful he was he couldn't help but feel slightly uneasy. This was the first time he'd ever heard Sherlock Holmes being spoken to like he was nothing more than an errant child. In the back of his mind he knew if he let this sniping go on any longer there was a good chance this case would continue to be unsolved for a lot longer. Lestrade couldn't afford to risk lives because their resident genius was sulking.

"I need whatever you've got Sherlock. You've been here long enough now."

As Sherlock rattled off his usual impossible sounding deductions Lestrade noticed that his attention was completely fixed on his older brother. His older brother who was making a point of staring straight ahead rather than meeting his gaze. It seemed like Sherlock was more focused on reading his brother's reaction to his findings than anything else, and with each second they went unquestioned Sherlock appeared to get more confident (Well, actually, smug and arrogant would be better words to describe his expression). It was only when Sherlock finished that Mycroft made a small non-committal sound. Well, to most people it would seem non-committal but judging by the way Sherlock's facial expression changed there was some kind of hidden meaning to it.



"What did I miss?" (This was said through gritted teeth. It was obviously painful to ask.)

Mycrofts eyebrows raised ever so slightly.

"Oh, do think you've missed something?"

"Will you just tell me what I've missed?"

"Oh come now Sherlock, I wouldn't dream of taking any aspect of your game away from you. I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually."

He watched Sherlock glare at his brother before beginning to circle the body once again. Sherlock was usually focused but Lestrade could not recall ever seeing him more determined to figure something out. Mycroft was watching Sherlock intently. Waiting. This had to be one of the strangest cases of sibling rivalry he had ever come across.

"Oh.." Sherlock looked up, a smirk of triumph gracing his features. "Oh that's..." and with that he was off running. Not even bothering to pay attention to Lestrade as he shouted after him. To be honest he hadn't really been expecting him to.

"I hate when he does that." He noticed movement in his peripheral vision. Mycroft appeared to be ready to leave as well."Going so soon? I thought you wanted to talk to my team?"

"I fear I've been away from the office far too long. Anyway, I highly doubt there's anything your team could reveal that I don't already know."

Lestrade turned to face him.

"Maybe we should exchange contact details... It could come in handy considering our mutual interest." (It could come in handy when Sherlock was having one of his 'I'm busy and it's boring' moments. Especially if his brother really did monitor him.)

Mycroft smiled. That smile conveyed his thoughts perfectly. It said, 'You're exceptionally naïve but I expected as much'. (Was it a Holmes family trait to be condescending to everyone you meet?)

"I know your mobile number, your office number, home number and email address. I know everything from your mother's maiden name to what school your children attend. If there's something we need to discuss I'll become aware of it not long after you do and then I'll contact you." With that Mycroft began to take his leave.

He'd been a detective long enough to recognise a threat, even a well veiled one. That being said there was something that had been eating away at the back of Lestrade's mind ever since he had started working with Sherlock Holmes. This moment may be his last chance to ever get anything resembling an answer. He was a detective after all; he may not be on the level of either of the Holmes brothers but he did notice things. Mycroft had put him on the defensive more than once tonight and now he was going to return the favour.

"It's strange."

Mycroft stopped and turned his head slightly to the side. He took this as a sign to continue.

"A civilian, a man that openly admits to being mentally unbalanced, and has numerous complaints lodged against him on a regular basis, not just by those that work in the police department but also by those that have just happened to meet him, is allowed to work in conjuncture with the police without so much as a whisper of opposition from any of the higher-ups. It's all rather unusual."

Lestrade knew he was pushing it. As a general rule you don't challenge men like Mycroft Holmes but he just wanted to know, no, he needed to know how much influence this man had. He watched as Mycroft turned around and he met his calculating stare head on. Then finally he watched as the other man reached up into his jacket and pulled something out. He then threw it towards Lestrade who fumbled slightly as he tried to catch it. It was... a key.

"Once my brother finds whatever it is he ran off to look for he'll head back to his home. He is nothing if not a creature of habit. Go there and while you wait for your clue to come to you turn the flat upside down. Search every corner and crevice."

"What for?"

"Leverage... Something you can hold over him whenever he is being particularly difficult."