Author's Notes: One of my fellow authors who goes by Captn_Facepalm challenged me to write a sequel to Creep which was my Moriarty origin story, threatening me with the dreaded Cumberbunny to write a sequel for Sherlock as a child, called Freak. However, it appears the Cumberbunny was not going to be satisfied unless there was a sequel written about John Watson. So after feeding that monster a carrot laced with enough Rhohypnol to sedate a Rhinoceros, Capt Facepalm and I collaborated on the following story.
I hope you enjoy the results.
SPOILERS for A Study in Pink.
All characters in the BBC series Sherlock are owned by BBC and their creators not me or Capt Facepalm.
He was walking by, the rugby kit he had on soiled from a good tumble with the lads.
He recognized the boy on the ground from his numbers class, brilliant but sickly, and right now he had some blokes from the village standing over him going through his satchel while he curled trembling and bruised into a ball trying to be invisible.
John's sister, Harry, was walking along side, she had been chattering incessantly but when he stopped, she followed his gaze, and grew quiet.
She knew her sandy-haired brother. She saw his fists curl into a ball and his jaw clench.
"Leave it, Johnny," she insisted, "please, for once, this is none of our affair."
John tensed even further at her words.
In his mind's eye he could see their father standing over their mother as she cowered on the floor: his eyes so much like John's own, giving his son a challenging glare. "Just leave it Johnny-Boy, yer mum had a bit of a fall, I'll have her put right in a moment, jes go on up to yer room."
John had always obeyed, feeling sick and cowardly, curling into a ball trying not to hear that vicious sound of flesh on flesh echoing through the thin walls, Harry always came in and they sat there in silence, "Just leave it, Johnny," she would say in the dim light as she stroked her brother's shoulders giving what little comfort she had to share, "you can't do anything, so just leave it alone."
Even though their mum finally left their dad and took them with her, there were still nights that Harry found herself in her brother's room comforting him about a father they had not seen in years, but still somehow had never truly gone.
She watched her quiet brother in those intervening years with a nervous eye, looking for signs that he was his father's son, but she needn't have bothered. While it was true, Johnny had their dad's easy violence and temper, it showed up in an entirely different manner.
"Just leave, Harry, I won't be but a moment," John informed her in a terse tone of voice that let her know that Watson stubborn streak was full on.
"Alright, just don't tear yer kit," she admonished, "Mum can't afford ta replace it, and last time you nearly lost a tooth, dentists are expensive, you still got damage from tackling that Banbury bloke last week!"
"I know, Mummy" he informed her with an eye roll as he began purposefully walking towards the taller boys, "don't worry Harry, blood washes out, and birds dig scars."
She shook her head with a familiar consternation as she watched her short, strapping brother strolling to combat, like he was taking a walk on a summer's day. If only his body matched his heart, he was too brave for his own good, too compassionate to let someone suffer without someone to stand for them.
She sighed as she formulated her excuses as to why John had a new black eye, when he still had the bruises from the last tussle. Rugby injuries only covered so much, and her mum knew what fist marks looked like, unfortunately.
"Ya just can't leave it be, can you Johnny," she said with a weary sigh.
As the sounds of a full blown fight began, Harry started her walk home. Those boys were twice Johnny's size, and there were three of them, so it might take him a little longer than usual. Too bad for them, Johnny usually gave better than he got, and not all the blood on his kit would be his own.
She made her way down the block trying to remember where the first aid kit was stowed; it was just part of being the sister of a hero.
Mycroft studied the file on his desk.
Threat assessment and psychological profile on Doctor John H. Watson MD, late of the Royal Army Medical Corps:
He hummed a Mott the Hoople tune to himself as he read through.
There were things within he anticipated.
"Abusive father, yes, just as I thought, you don't get that level of toughness from a soft childhood," he murmured to himself. "Yes, I see that he was involved in multiple incidents throughout his scholastic career, mostly involving students from higher grades, most likely bullies which shows a desire to protect the weaker, it appears he does not intimidate easily, but then we already knew that didn't we?"
He moved on to the very high marks in his further education, then to his Army career where he volunteered for the units in the worst of the fighting, receiving commendations from superior officers in the field for his courage under fire.
"The man appears to have a penchant for violence, and accumulated several trophies for marksmanship, and was trained in combat tactics by the SAS," he read, pursing his lips thoughtfully.
After a while he closed the file and leaned back, sipping the vitamin water that his diet allowed, and nibbling the scone that it did not, as he assessed the information using the formidable mind that made him the hub of intelligence for NATO itself.
NATO could wait; this was the man who was at his little brother's back, which to Mycroft, took precedent over other matters like national security.
"So, it appears that my brother is sharing space and his life's work with a man who does not intimidate, appears to head in the direction of danger rather than away, has combat training and instincts of the finest quality. A man with the nerve to give me cheek even after I commandeered those phones and CCTV cams just so we could have a pratter, showing an absolute loyalty to Sherlock after knowing him for less than a day.
Selfless and altruistic to a fault, this is a man who gets involved, no matter the danger, because he just cannot let people come to harm if it can be prevented."
An annoyed but still somehow affectionate smile touched his lips as he added.
"That philosophy is sure to come into conflict with Sherlock."
Mycroft stared at the surveillance photos of the shorter sandy haired man in those dreadful jumpers shadowing the familiar tall form of his brother.
All those characteristics listed in that file were advantageous to Sherlock's work, however that was a threat assessment and a psychological breakdown and truly did not cover why John Watson was good for Sherlock.
Having someone to watch Sherlock's back was good yes, even though Mycroft had enough resources to do that from a distance, it was nice to know his brother had someone capable nearby. What heartened Mycroft was that this fellow was a Doctor at heart as well as profession.
John saw people where Mycroft's little brother saw game pieces, victims where Sherlock saw puzzles, and he had a overarching humanity that made up for that detachment through which the younger Holmes had always viewed the world. This man would provide a moral compass, a necessary check on his brother's sociopathy that might prevent him from becoming an even bigger threat out of sheer boredom than the criminals that he hunted.
Which had always been Mycroft's biggest fear.
Quite simply, it appeared that the Head without a Heart, had just inadvertently acquired one in spite of himself.
"Doctor John H. Watson," Mycroft said to the empty room, "I think you'll do."
I know my Doctor Watson Police Surgeon stories have a similar background for Watson, but considering the determination and the propensity for violence to protect others, I just can't see any other past events that would cause his behavior. We are all products of our pasts and what happened to us then affects now in ways that would probably astonish us if we stopped to think about it...and I've thought alot about it here as of late!
I think what links these three stories are how all three of these men handled being bullied at young ages. Moriarty got revenge, Sherlock merely shrugged it off, John Watson took it very personally!
This one is dedicated to Captain Facepalm at Watson's Woes