Disclaimer: It would be sacrilege to claim to own Sherlock in any shape or form. All I own are fannish musings and speculation. Oh, and eventually the DVD's, I hope. (I'm waiting for all the seasons to come out, and then I'll buy the box set, even though I know this will take forever, and until then I will make do with ).
A/N: I am unsurprisingly (due to my absolute love of all things Holmesian) utterly obsessed with Sherlock, but surprisingly enough I want to see more Mycroft (it must be the sibling rivalry; it wasn't apparent in the books, where they seemed to have an amicable relationship). Going on this tangent, I started wondering about Harry, John's older sister that we never meet (although you have to love her comments on his blog), and combined with different conspiracy theories, this fic was born.
When Harry first came out to their parents, they had a screaming row.
John shrugs when he hears about it ("I'm actually not that surprised," he states amicably, "I always thought you were too interested in my girlfriends.") and takes her in, even though they don't actually get along, and she knows she drives his medical sensibilities insane with her drinking.
(It's not a problem. Except when it is, and she couldn't take anymore tears from Clara, and that's why she left.)
She finds her own flat in a month, and in between her own busy job (who knew working for the government could be so hectic?), partying it up, and John's own trials and tribulations as a med student, they lose touch with each other.
She doesn't see John again until her parents finally decide that they want to talk to her again, and they both get dragged to their great-aunt Maude's birthday party at Wales.
Although at that point she is completely distracted by John's friend who always wanted to see Wales, and she couldn't care less about her little brother, intent as she is on convincing this beautiful girl (Clara, Clara, Clara) to dance with her.
It isn't until the wedding that John even bothers to tell her that he's going to Afghanistan.
("You're what?" she shrieks, turning around so quickly that several purple lilies come unpinned from her hair and float to the floor.
"Going to Afghanistan," he repeats calmly, picking the lilies up from the floor carefully, "Next week."
"You couldn't have told me this sooner?" she demands, snatching the blossoms from his proffered hand and furiously pinning them back into her hair.
He smiles and shrugs, "You've been busy.")
It was always a possibility, what with him being an army doctor and all, but it boggles her mind to think of John in all that sun and sand.
(The army part has never surprised her, even if their parents were bemused about it.
She was sixteen, and he was thirteen the first time either of them went to a shooting range and picked up a gun. She was bollocks at it; she was lucky if she managed to even hit the rim of the target.
John though, John was brilliant. You would have thought he had been training for years, the way he pointed that gun as if it was just an extension of his arm.
It was the first time she had realized that her little brother isn't normal.)
He goes, and then her life goes from heavenly to shit.
(They were happy together, and she still drinks. It's not a problem. Except when it is, and she thought she could stop for Clara, but she can't, and she can't keep making Clara cry and cry and cry, and so she leaves her even if it feels like ripping her own heart out.)
He comes back, and she can see the change written all over his lined face and limp. She tries to convince him to move in with her, to keep in touch, to just talk to her (because their—no, her house is so empty and quiet now), but he refuses everything besides the old cell-phone (she can't keep it. There are already too many memories that she drinks to forget.)
She can't believe she's reduced to reading her little brother's blog of all things to keep track of him.
He needs a Facebook. (He needs someone to make him alive again.)
She needs a life. (She needs someone to save her from herself.)
It's at that point, while she's mumbling all this into the bottom of her glass that Mycroft Holmes suddenly appears.
(She knows Mycroft from work. Although, by knows, she means she's seen him around. She's not sure what he actually does, just that it involves a lot of emails and phone-calls, which could be said of all government jobs. He used to be corpulent, but he's recently lost weight. He's always carrying an umbrella, and he's always smiling though, as though he knows something that no one else does.)
"It sounds as though your brother could use a flatmate," he states offhandedly, disdainfully prodding the bar top with his umbrella.
She blinks at him blearily.
She has no idea what he is doing here. They barely know each other. He is way too posh for this place. (She should be as well, but this has been her scene for so long that she has forgotten when it wasn't.)
"What?" she finally slurs, waving to the bartender for another drink.
One pointed glance stops the bartender in his tracks, and Mycroft calmly states, "A war veteran, no matter how brave, does not merit a very large pension. London is not an inexpensive city to live in. Unless he moves in with you, he will need a flatmate to split the rent. Might I propose a solution?"
She nods because she is drunk out of her mind and holds the firm belief that she has started hallucinating stately coworkers who sound like robots or Spock. (Also, she is fairly sure she never mentioned that her brother was a war veteran, just that he was a pain in the arse.)
"My own little brother is acting much like yours," Mycroft continues as the bartender arrives with a cup of water, "He is refusing to take any money from me, and therefore needs to find a flatmate. I believe your brother would suit him quite nicely. What do you think?"
"What's the catch?" she demands, because even if it's a hallucination, she has found that sudden solutions to life don't happen to her.
"Sherlock is…difficult," Mycroft replies, with an odd slanted smile on the last word, "But I have every confidence that your brother will get along with him swimmingly."
(It's only later that she figures out that of the two Holmes brothers, Mycroft is the one given to understatement.)
She shrugs as she chugs down the glass of water (John and Clara would want her to stay hydrated), "Sure, fine, do whatever you like."
"Excellent," Mycroft comments with a tight smile as an attractive woman with eyes intent on her Blackberry appears at his side, "Your brother's old friend Mike Stamford works at St. Bart's, does he not?"
She nods, and everything is set into motion.
It's only later when she's sobered up (for now), and she reads her brother's blog post that she even realizes what has happened.
Could just be a coincidence (although a very strange one), that she had dreamed about her very strange coworker arranging for their little brothers to be flatmates before it really happened. Subconscious thoughts and all that.
More importantly, mad, strangely likable, charming? He sounded like when he was twelve and describing a girl he just met that he fancied.
(When he introduced Clara shyly, it had been "great, wonderful, brilliant," and she had agreed with him and promptly swept her off her feet. The fact that she had a tendency to steal his girlfriends was only one of many reasons that they didn't get along.)
She teases him and is having a pleasant online chat with Bill Murray, when her cell-phone buzzes with a message.
First meeting seems to have gone well.
There will be a few additional tests,
but he seems promising.
Definitely not a dream then. (Although it would not have been the strangest thing she's dreamed when she's falling down drunk.)
She's not sure if she should be more creeped out over the fact that Mycroft is obviously stalking their little brothers or over the fact that she never remembers giving him her number.
The number is private and withheld, and there is no mention of any Mycroft or Holmes in their work directory, so she is unable to text him to sod off.
She is willing to settle for the next best thing though, and after finding her brother's new flatmate's website (John had not been exaggerating the arrogance at all), is about to text Sherlock to kindly tell his brother what a creeper he is when her cell-phone goes off again.
Please don't bother Sherlock.
He is extremely preoccupied
and does so hate to be distracted.
How the hell does she know what she's about to do? Is he somehow watching her?
That's it, she's calling John.
Her phone beeps again.
You have not become a security problem yet.
People are predictable.
It is easy to extrapolate what they will do next.
Don't bother telling John either,
he won't appreciate it.
And even as she seethes and considers throwing her cell-phone against the wall, she knows he is right (and so, so creepy). John hates her poking into what he calls his own business; it's a sibling thing.
So she settles for making herself a nice cup of tea, spiced up with a dash of whiskey (it's just like Irish coffee, but John would wrinkle his nose, and Clara always frowned) when Mycroft walks through her door, smooth as you please, and whiskey really burns when it goes up your nose.
"Amazingly enough, your brother would not take the money," Mycroft says, sounding entirely too pleased with himself as he hands her a handkerchief and whisks the tea away, "Oh, not that I'm implying anything about your brother's character, it's just that Sherlock's previous flatmates have all been a tad dismal in regards to bribery and spying on so-called 'friends,'" he spits out the last word with some distaste as he pours both of them another cup of tea, "Which is why of course it's obvious that Sherlock should have let me just screen his flatmates earlier, or better yet just taken the money and saved us all a lot of trouble."
"How the hell did you get in here? What the hell do you think you're doing?" she snarls, grabbing her cellphone off the table, intent on dialing for the police.
He rolls his eyes and sniffs, "You keep a spare key under the welcome mat. Predictable really. Don't bother to call the police; they won't arrest me."
He sounds so sure of himself that she does put the phone down grudgingly. Glaring at him seems to simply make his smirk wider.
"I thought you would like to be kept informed of your brother's antics," he states, tapping the handle of his umbrella idly, "He seems to be doing well. I'm sure Sherlock will have cured him of that psychosomatic limp by tonight, if not sooner."
There are too many things to focus on at once, so she grabs the easiest one, "Psychosomatic limp?" she asks blankly, sipping her (virgin) tea.
"Ah, he hasn't told you," he replies brightly, adding careful spoonfuls of sugar to his tea, "Well, it's not a problem now, at least. You could ask him about his adrenaline addiction, but I'm not so sure that that would go over well."
She knows she sounds like a broken tape-recorder, but still she repeats, "Adrenaline addiction?"
Mycroft takes a sip of his tea, "It's not the most technical term perhaps, but it does describe your brother's condition. Sherlock is sure to give him plenty. It cannot come as a surprise to you."
(She's nineteen, and he's sixteen when she catches him helping Tim, his latest mad best mate in a string of mad best mates, try to bungee jump off a bridge with makeshift elastic rope.
"What the hell were you thinking?" she screams at him after she's dragged him home, "You could have killed him! Were you going to try jumping next?"
He shrugs, "We tested the rope before," he replies sullenly, "It would hold something much heavier than Tim or me."
"That's not the point! What were you after, the excitement? The rush?"
He glares at her.
It's the first time she ever wondered if her brother was mad.)
"You, above all people, should know that John Watson is certainly not just the calm dependable army doctor he presents himself to be," Mycroft continues relentlessly, placing the Wedgewood teacup back onto its saucer with a small chink, "He needs excitement. He perhaps won't throw a bloody tantrum when he doesn't get it, as my little brother is unfortunately apt to do, but he does need it, or he will wither and fade away."
"Your little brother sounds like a bloody nightmare," she snipes, changing the subject and hating the way her hands are shaking (how does he just know all these things?).
Mycroft gives a small chuckle, "Oh, he's a terror to live with," he admits freely, seemingly absentmindedly tracing patterns in the Persian carpet with his umbrella, "He enjoys leaving his experiments simply everywhere, he can't be bothered to ever do any household chores, and he will wake you up at 3 in the morning with his violin."
"So my little brother has decided to shack up with your jerk of little brother," she states, trying to get a handle of things.
"Naturally," Mycroft replies easily, "If you want excitement, look no further than Sherlock. Where he is, there are bound to eventually be explosions, even if he has to cause them himself."
"Why shouldn't I tell Sherlock that you set this whole thing up? I bet he would like that," she challenges him, wanting to wipe that damn smirk off his face, and betting on her own knowledge of challenging (painful) sibling rivalries.
His eyes narrow slightly, "You won't," he states firmly, "because you won't be able to convince him to believe you."
"What?" she asks, with a sinking feeling in her stomach that she knows she does not like where this conversation is going.
"Sherlock is far from stupid, but you have no evidence," he says calmly.
"You talked to me about setting John up as Sherlock's flatmate before it ever happened. I have your texts."
"Sherlock already knows you are an alcoholic," he states flatly, "therefore he knows that you could have dreamed up that whole scenario. As for the texts, they are very vague. Nothing that I would not write to the older sister of my younger brother's flatmate. He will not believe you."
"But he will be suspicious. And he'll probably try to avoid you more and more, and I bet he'll hate you even more than he does now," she rips into him, hating him, hating his words, hating the sound of his voice (hating that word because it is not a problem, except when it is).
He pauses, and it's the first flicker of genuine (sad) emotion that she sees pass across his face.
"True," he finally comments, "but if you do that, I will guarantee that Sherlock will turn John out of the flat just to be contrary and then what will your brother do?"
"He can stay with me," she snaps.
"But he won't," he replies, as his customary smirk slips back into place, "And then he will have to look for a place in perhaps Glasgow or Edinburg because there would be no way that he could continue to live in London on his own pension. Once he moves to that quiet, cold little town, without all that excitement, his limp will return, he will continue to be haunted by nightmares, and one day, you will get that call you've been dreading since he was deployed."
(It's always the same dream.
She will hear a phone ringing, and she will pick it up, and there will be a voice on the other side, sometimes male, sometimes female, but always saying the same thing.
"Harriet Watson? We have some bad news. It's your brother John. He's dead.")
"So we have an agreement then?" Mycroft asks, breaking the silence, "I will keep you informed of your brother's doings that he may not wish to worry you with, and in exchange you will not reveal to anyone how their living arrangements came to be."
She nods (because what else could she do? She had been watching John fade away before her own eyes, and anything would be better than that) , and Mycroft smiles as he sweeps out of her house as silently as he arrived, with only an extra teacup and saucer as proof that he had even been there.
Mycroft keeps his promise to keep her informed, whether it's via texts or disconcertingly in person, and it really is helpful, no matter how very smug or creepy he is, because John is purposefully vague about his adventures with Sherlock.
Oh sure, he writes up the cases on his blog (and such cases! It was like something straight out of a thriller novel!), but it's never about himself. It's all Sherlock did this, Sherlock did that, Sherlock, Sherlock, Sherlock.
"How are you feeling?" she asks him over the phone during one of their weekly chats.
"Oh I'm fine—Sherlock! Why is there a head with a bowler hat on in the fridge?"
"I do not believe someone could have worn a bowler hat with a metal disc actually capable of slicing through metal and stone, therefore I am trying to determine how the head and hat would have to be shaped in order for both the hat to be fully functional and the wearer comfortable."
"…this is what happens when I make you watch James Bond movies, isn't it?" John sighs.
And he probably is fine, much better than he was, but she still worries. This is a dangerous life that he's living, possibly even more dangerous than Afghanistan in some ways.
"Your brother seems much more alive," comments Mycroft on yet another one of his random visits (slightly weirder than the ones before because this time his assistant has joined them and hasn't even looked up from her Blackberry once), "And I do believe Sherlock is slightly less likely to develop unsavory habits again with him around."
(She has a working theory that Mycroft is actually an experimental supercomputer robot that runs the government, and that Sherlock is another supercomputer robot built for the sole purpose of keeping Mycroft distracted enough to not take over the world.)
The first time she gets a text from Sherlock, she actually freaks out a bit. And she's not sorry for breaking up (another one) of John's dates if she gets a message like:
He's not answering my texts.
Tell him it's a matter of life and death.
(She also later figures out that of the two Holmes brothers, Sherlock is the one given to gross exaggeration)
It seems to be going well (for him anyway), but Watsons never really get a break.
She gets the call when she is absolutely smashed (It would have been their anniversary, but she couldn't keep Clara tied to her like this).
"Harry Watson? This is St. George's Hospital. It's your brother, John Watson."
(It should have been better than an ice-cold shower in terms of sobering up, but it even that isn't enough to cut through the haze she is wallowing in.)
She wants to scream, she wants to cry, she wants to tear through all the twisty streets of London to get to her (dead? Gravely injured? She doesn't know, her ears are still ringing) brother's side, but before she takes two steps, her face is planted to the ground and the room is spinning.
(It's not a problem, but now she sees it is, it is, it is)
Someone gently drags her up by her arm, and when she finally manages to get her head up (when did her body stop listening to her?), she sees Mycroft's assistant busily typing away on her Blackberry.
"Car's outside," she states, not bothering to look up, "Come along."
The rest of a drive is a blur (as it is usually when she is drunk out of her mind, and when was the last time where the world was clearer through the bottom of a shot glass?), but when she sees her brother lying on the hospital bed, battered, scraped, and bruised, but most definitely breathing (alive alive alive alive) she bursts into tears.
(He enlisted as an army doctor straight out of med school, and she wasn't surprised the way her parents were, but still she had to ask him:
He smiles and starts talking about helping the people who need it most this way, but she knows it's half of a lie because if he really wanted to do that, he could have joined Doctors Without Borders, or gone to Haiti, or done anything besides put himself on a battlefield.
"Why?" she repeats, staring him in the eye, daring him to try and lie again.
He opens his mouth, pauses, and closes it again. He turns his head to the side and sighs, "It…is frightfully dull here sometimes, don't you think?"
She doesn't say anything, so he continues.
"It's just…I'm not doing anything here. Mary and I are done, you're happy with Clara, and mum and dad are fine. It's time for something new, don't you think?"
"Something new like being shot at? Like being dead?"
"If necessary," he says with a grin and she knows only half-jokingly.)
"He's just sleeping," Mycroft says quietly behind her, "His injuries are not too severe."
She turns around, fully intent on ripping into him with words like daggers (where was he? What did he think he was doing? How the hell did John end up like this?), but the look on his face makes her stop.
She has only ever seen Mycroft with two expressions: smirking and bemused. Now though, now he looks harried, worried, bags under his eyes, his mouth a tight slashed line, and his suit uncharacteristically wrinkled.
"How is Sherlock?" she asks, and with a sudden twitch, biting of the lip, and swallow, Mycroft completely debunks the robot part of her theory.
"He…he's alive," Mycroft says thickly, voice gone scarily wobbly, "He's in intensive care at the moment. The best doctors are operating on him," he continues, as if to reassure himself.
It's at that moment that she realizes that despite the fact that Mycroft is still super-creepy, unbearably posh, and altogether too arrogant, they are alike in their love (mixed with a decent dose of exasperation) of their younger (and entirely insufferable) younger siblings.
The difference is that Mycroft can actually help his, but she can't even walk straight to her brother's side when left to her own devices.
She looks at her brother (so pale), and makes her decision.
(It's difficult, but it has been a long time coming.)
"Check me into rehab," she commands Mycroft.
His eyes widen fractionally, and she feels a small stab of pleasure in being able to surprise the omniscient robot (even if he is all too human in the end). His assistant appears at his side, and he says quietly, "Hera, make a reservation for Ms. Watson at Los Olivos Rehab in Malaga, Spain."
As Hera (she could have sworn the name was Juno a few days ago) types away quickly into her Blackberry, she asks, "When they wake up, can you give them both a smack from me?"
He quirks an eyebrow and sates, "I would have thought you would have liked the pleasure of doing that yourself."
She shrugs and brushes her hair out of her eyes, "If I'm doing this, I'm going to do it right…and I think it's going to take a while. So smack both of them for being bloody idiots and watch over them until I'm out."
He smiles and dips his head in acknowledgment, "I think Harry Watson, that this is a start of a beautiful friendship. Much to the annoyance of our siblings of course."
She smirks in response. She can't wait to see John's face when he hears about all of this.
It is hard, and there were days where she could have sworn she was dying, and days where she couldn't even imagine how anything could be worth the pain that was wracking and twisting her body, but now she is better and whole.
It's funny how much can change in just one year.
One year ago, she had let Clara go, and now they're trying to piece back together their love for one another.
One year ago, her brother had been slowly fading away before her eyes, and now he's vibrant while running after a madman.
One year ago, her house had been silent and empty, and now it's filled (after Sherlock and John arrive late because somehow there was a stolen pink diamond in their Christmas goose) with Clara's chiming laughter, Sherlock's insulting complaints, Mycroft's tranquil quips, John's gentle remonstrances, and her own disbelieving comments.
It's not a happy ending by any means, with her not being able to be near any alcohol at all because the temptation is just too great, Clara still having a slightly haunted look in her eyes, John obviously in love with a person more interested in murders than sex, and Mycroft still being so very creepy, but it will do.
It's a new year, and things are so much better now
(And if one of her New Year's Resolutions just happens to be making John stop bloody pining for Sherlock by locking the two of them in a closet, well John can thank her later, after the inevitable sex. Seriously, the UST was approaching near toxic levels. Even Mycroft agrees with her.)
A/N: …I was really intending to focus some more on Sherlock/John from Harry's POV, but the story just seemed to get away from me. Somehow, it's turned mostly into a thing about Harry and Mycroft. I hope it's not too OOC, but since Harry was never in the show, it's hard to say. I'm planning on writing another Sherlock fic with the whole pink diamond case (based on The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle obviously), and that one should be a bit more Sherlock/John hopefully. The rehab center is real and so is the hospital. I picked Hera and Juno as other names for Anthea because the name Anthea is associated with the Greek goddess Hera. Oh well. I hoped you liked it. Please review!