Just Words.

Summary: Sally, Sherlock and Mycroft discuss titles—freak, psychopath, sociopath, autism, Asperger's and sergeant—and what they all mean. Set pre-John. One shot. GEN.

Disclaimer: not mine.

Originally posted at LiveJournal: 13 January, 2011


Sally Donovan rolled her eyes. "Freak."

"Oh, do be a little more original," Sherlock snapped back, his eyes not leaving the corpse.

"What would you prefer then? Nut case?" Donovan bit back sarcastically, crossing her arms as she watched this no-name 'consulting detective' try his hand at solving a case that had zero leads—three bodies, same neighbourhood, nothing linking them but street addresses. "Psychopath?"

"Nice try, but still technically incorrect," Sherlock Holmes said with an absentmindedness in his voice, hands lifting the dead person's hair for inspection. "Technically I'm a high-functioning sociopath."

"Still wrong," called out a man gazing out through the grimy windows, an umbrella hooked around his elbow though there wasn't even a cloud in the sky. Sally wasn't quite sure who he was, but he got the freak in and there was something about the cut of his suit and the way he held himself that screamed government official.

"Autistic," Myriad—Mycrade—Mycroft? said without looking around. "That's the doctor mummy agreed with."

"Bah!" Sherlock finally tore his attentions from the body to the man and said, "That doctor was an utter idiot. It's very clearly not autism. I can interact and communicate perfectly well. I choose not to. Mother shouldn't have listened to him."

Mother? Sally wondered with interest. Mummy? Was the man at the window Sherlock's brother? She couldn't even begin to wonder how the hell someone could deal with this pair as children.

"Well," the government official continued, "you didn't exactly react well to the earlier diagnosis of Asperger's."

"Asperger's is just another diagnosis on the autistic spectrum, Mycroft," Sherlock dismissed, standing up and removing the rubber gloves with a harried impatience.

Mycroft turned from the window and smiled sardonically. "Self-diagnosis of sociopath being better then, is it?"

"High-functioning sociopath," Sherlock corrected with a thin smile of his own—and Sally had to wonder whether there was any brotherly fondness in his tone—and then added, "Regardless of it all, a diagnosis will not make me any less brilliant, nor will it make mother think me any more normal."

"I maintain freak rolls off the tongue that much easier," Sally interjected finally, her foot tapping impatiently. "Now, what do you think happened?"

"Hmm?" Sherlock looked at her with a distracted air, and then glanced down at the body. "Oh, that. Boring. Simple lead poisoning. My money's on the old lady two houses down. It had to be someone she trusted to eat meals with constantly over a long period of time. Everyone trusts the elderly. There are a few more details than that, but well—" Sherlock grinned like a plastic doll, "—wouldn't want to waste your time, sergeant."

He said the title as if it was the word amateur. Sally frowned and straightened up.

"You're mocking me," she accused, eyes narrowing.

The plastic smile softened a bit before turning a little wild. "Wouldn't dream of it," he said. To his brother he barked, "There. Done. Now we're even, yes?"

"Yes, yes," Mycroft chuckled good naturedly. Sherlock had left the room in a flash. Sally thought the man would follow his brother, but instead he walked a little over her way, umbrella swaying back and forth in his grip.

"Sergeant Donovan, I trust you're a good person, and I'm sure Sherlock will see that, too," he smiled, but his eyes were cold. "My brother is hardly impressed with name-calling. Show him how you earned 'sergeant' and he'll stop looking down on you."

"I knew he was mocking me."

Mycroft smiled and walked to the door, calling over his shoulder, "There is only so much one can find in a title. Actions are, by far, more important."


A/N: Well this hit a little close to home. My brother has autism.

ANYWAY, hope you liked it!