"John? Mrs. Hudson?" Sherlock called as the slam of the front door echoed up the stairs..
"Sherlock dear, what's the matter?"
"Ah Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock cried breathlessly, John could imagine all too easily his flatmate slinging an arm around the poor woman's shoulders and leading her back to her own rooms. "Listen carefully, this is very important..."
"He certainly doesn't seem to have changed all that much since the last time I saw him," Siger chuckled, running a hand through his curly salt and pepper hair. "Melodramatic as ever."
"He's certainly relatively consistent in that department, isn't he?"
Siger's bark-like laugh was drowned out as his son who, seemingly finished doling out instructions to their landlady, shouted John's name once more as he bounded up the stairs.
"I best go see what he needs this time," John sighed.
Siger laughed, giving him an encouraging clap on the arm as they both stood from the table.
"I'll have tea at the ready shall I?"
"That would be lovely," John replied, before turning his attention to the ordeal-in-the-making on the landing.
With a deep breath, John opened the flat door and came face to face with Sherlock, doubled over and panting for breath, struggling to strip off his coat. He wasn't injured in the slightest so far as John could see, and that was enough to put the doctor in him enough at ease to simply enjoy his friend's uncharacteristically perturbed state.
Leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed over his chest and a smirk tugging at his lips, he asked, "Went for a bit of a run did we?"
Bracing himself against the wall with one hand, Sherlock nodded as he fought for breath.
With a quirked brow, John drawled, "Must have been quite the jog."
"It was," Sherlock gasped out between breaths. "Whitechapel... To Here... And It... It was more of a... sprint."
"Bloody Hell Sherlock!" John cried, "Why the hell did you sprint three and a half miles?"
"Something...Something important...Just wait a second-"
John sighed as Sherlock doubled over again and forced himself to take deep breaths.
"Are you hurt?" John asked, just to be sure.
Sherlock shook his head.
"Well you're a bloody idiot then."
Sherlock grunted something that could have been either a protest or agreement, John couldn't quite tell which (although he liked to imagine it was the latter)
"You could have taken off the bloody coat," he muttered.
Letting out one last deep breath, Sherlock straightened up, sweaty and red faced but breathing properly at last.
"There was no time for that," he replied, running a hand through his sweat soaked hair, much like how his father had done earlier.
"You could have gotten a cab."
"No time for that either."
"You didn't have time to take off your coat or hail a cab, but you could spare enough of it to run, no, sorry, sprint the three and a half miles between here and Whitechapel."
"I tried to hail a cab, none were available," Sherlock sighed.
"Could have used the tube," John suggested.
"I was banned after the harpoon incident," Sherlock replied before snapping, "I'm here now – surely we can agree on that, now will you please let me into our flat? There's a mad man after me."
"Of course there is," John sighed, but he stepped aside nonetheless. "Why's the mad man after you?"
Jogging over to the window and peering out through the curtains, Sherlock replied, "He seems to think he's doing a good deed of sorts."
"He thinks killing you is a good deed?" John murmured, before shrugging, "Well I suppose it's an easy enough mistake."
"I heard that," Sherlock snapped. "Besides, he's not trying to kill me. He just has this habit of attacking me whenever he sees me."
"I can sympathise."
"John, if I wanted your commentary I would have asked for it!"
Satisfied his pursuer wasn't lurking outside, Sherlock spun around once more to face John.
"I'm going up to my room now," he announced, clearly fighting the urge to glance back down at the street. "And I'm going to stay there until I've gotten word this man has left London. Clear?"
"Yes sir," John replied with a half hearted salute.
"Now, my instruction for you are the same as those I gave Mrs. Hudson-"
"Good to know."
"If a man, about 6'2", burly, curly hair – more grey than black these days, comes knocking at the door, you're to tell him that you've never heard of a Sherlock Holmes. Who is he? Interesting name, but you've never met the man, surely you'd remember that sort of name – understand?"
"You are to use all the tricks I've taught you regarding the proper method of lying. You are to send him away so convinced that you're an utter buffoon of whom I wouldn't spend my time around even if I was paid to do so, that he never comes to this address again. I have faith in your ability to pull it off."
"Yes, exactly like that," cried Sherlock, grinning, "But talking to him and not knowing who I am. Remember that it's very important. You do not know who I am."
"I'm going to my room now," Sherlock announced, clapping John on the shoulder as he walked passed him, towards the kitchen through which the stairs to his room lie, "Good luck John. I'm sure you can do it."
John spun around and opened his mouth to call Sherlock back, to warn him that the mad man was in fact in their kitchen. He had every intention of stopping him... but before he could even get a word out his friend was being rugby tackled from the kitchen, straight back into the living room.
"Come on boy-o, you can fight better than that!" Siger cried, grappling with Sherlock who was wriggling madly on the carpet where he was being pinned, "I didn't send you to those boxing lessons for nothing."
"I didn't like the boxing lessons," Sherlock shouted into the carpet, before bucking up against his attacker, knocking him off balance enough for him to flip the man off and began scrambling away.
Unfortunately Siger had a hold of him once more before he got too far.
"I was under the impression you enjoyed them," Siger commented as he struggled to pin Sherlock, who was thrashing about in quite the eel-like fashion.
"I preferred the Baritsu ones.".
John wasn't quite sure what the hell was going on. He didn't know whether Siger had been telling the truth earlier and was in fact Sherlock's father, or whether Sherlock was right and he was just a nutter out to get him... or whether they'd both been telling the truth and Sherlock's father was in fact an absolute nutter out to get him. As Siger pinned Sherlock to the ground once more cried gleefully, "Don't hold back on your old man Sherlock." John decided that the latter was certainly the most likely. It definitely explained a lot.
"Father get off of me!" Sherlock bellowed, punching the carpet in much the same manner of a frustrated toddler.
"Sherlock I know you can do better than this," Siger tutted.
"Right. That's it," Sherlock huffed, twisting under his father's grasp and grabbing his wrist from his shoulder so he could lunged upwards, knocking the older man back and pinning him with an arm across his throat. "If you know already," he asked, "Why do you insist I demonstrate?"
"Think of it as fatherly concern," Siger chuckled. "I simply must be sure you can fight properly if you insist on chasing after criminals Sherlock."
"Well clearly I can," sighed Sherlock, although a fond smile was tugging at his lips as he said it.
"If I let you up now, you won't try and take me by surprise?"
"Can't make any promises."
Sighing, Siger reluctantly relented.
"Fine. Fine. On my word, the exercise ends now.".
John watched, still relatively bewildered, as father and son disentangled, slowly got back to their feet and dusted themselves off.
Siger was the first to start laughing. Sherlock didn't take all that long following his lead.
"Mad man?" he asked, ruffling Sherlock's hair. "I taught you better than that."
"I used clinically insane last time," Sherlock chuckled, adjusting his collar before turning his attention to John.
"I was going to tell you," John announced, holding up his hands and taking a step back away from Sherlock, who was glaring accusingly at him.
"When exactly were you going to tell me?"
"Well if you stopped when I called for you to-"
"You should have called louder!"
"You should have been listening!"
"Alright that's enough!" Siger called, effectively cutting John and Sherlock's bickering short... or at least, prompting a brief interlude.
"Sherlock behave yourself. Dr. Watson, don't let him wind you up for god's sake. The last thing he or indeed the world needs is his having somebody else to act up on simply because they give him the reactions he wants."
"Hmm, yes. Speaking of Mycroft," Sherlock drawled, flinging himself back onto the sofa, "How did your visit with him go? Did he have a heart attack. It's all those desserts he stuff his face with."
"Sherlock, be kind," John sighed.
"Listen to the good doctor Sherlock," Siger sighed, fixing Sherlock with a level stare. "You know he's sensitive about that Sherlock, you shouldn't torment him."
"But he torments me about everything," Sherlock whined.
"No he doesn't."
"He does," Sherlock insisted. "He kidnaps anyone who talks to me for more than an hour, he offers them money to spy on me, he acts like I am completely incapable of taking care of myself-"
"You are completely incapabl-"
"Shut up John!"
"Nonetheless Sherlock, you shouldn't poke fun at his weight. What would you do if he got really upset by it?"
Rubbing irritably at his temples he announced, "Moving on. No, I've not seen him yet. He's done a better job at hiding than you have."
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Does he know you're in London?" he asked.
"Not unless he's had me micro-chipped," chuckled Siger.
"I wouldn't put it past him," John scoffed.
"Nor would I. I am however, relatively sure that I am more or less bugless and I had the cabby use all the blind spots. Never fear my boy, I'll get him soon."
One of those grins that John had come to associate with trouble brewing slowly spread across Sherlock's face.
"How would you like to get him now?"
Mycroft was looking especially smug as he walked through the door of 221B.
"Ah Sherlock, so glad to see you've finally seen reason," he drawled, case file firmly clutched in the hand that wasn't clutching his umbrella. "This case truly is of the utmost importance and I simply can't spare the time to see it through myself."
"And of course there's the legwork aspect to think of," Sherlock sniped, glowering over at his brother from where he sat sprawled in John's armchair.
"Well I suppose there is that too," Mycroft conceded.
"Not to matter," Sherlock sighed, noncommittally inspecting his nails as he did so. "As your brother I've made arrangements to maintain your health and wellbeing, because I love you... and all."
Mycroft's eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"Yes, it's really not healthy for you to miss out on your daily dose of exercise. I've remedied that."
"Exercis-? Oh no."
"In fact, I've hired a personal trainer."
"Where is he Sherlock?"
"I think you'll find it most benefici-"
"Sherlock so help me if you don't tell me where he-AH!"
Sherlock and John roared with laughter as Mycroft was tackled in much the same way Sherlock had been, across the living room by his father.
"Come now Mycroft," cried Siger, "Surely you can do better than that."
"Father get off me this instant!"
"I'll have you shot!"
"No you won't."
"Well I bloody ought to!"