Merely A Minor Position
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
Sherlock chanced a glance at the television as he came in and headed straight for the kitchen. As he placed his bag on the clearest part of the table, he grumbled, "As if I don't get enough of his interference already, now Mycroft has to be on the telly in my own flat."
John, who had been half-watching the screen, froze. "What?"
"It's enough that you don't listen, John, so kindly don't stop hearing," Sherlock said, a trifle annoyed.
"I heard you," John assured him. "It's just…could you…elaborate? Please?"
Sherlock sighed and looked incredibly put-upon. "Mycroft is on the telly."
"But…that's impossible," John said faintly.
"I think I should be trusted to recognize my own brother when I see him," Sherlock said frostily. "And you've even met him, John."
"I know and I knew that he looked familiar but…are you positive that this is him?" John asked, gesturing towards the screen.
Sherlock returned to the main area so that John could see his glare.
"I'm not trying to doubt you or anything," John said hastily. "It's just…are you sure?"
Sherlock sighed again. "Yes, John, I am absolutely sure that I know my own brother when I see him and that I just saw him on the telly."
There was a silence for a moment.
"Wow," John breathed. "I don't even…wow."
"You are either impressed by my ability to recognize faces or by my brother," Sherlock deduced. "Neither of which make very much sense nor have you been prone to before. Is it that he's on the telly? The two of us have been on the news before thanks to your blog."
"I can't believe I didn't realize this sooner," John said, shaking his head helplessly. "I mean, it's not the sort of thing one would expect but just the same…"
"Are you even listening?" Sherlock demanded, highly offended at the possibility of being ignored.
"Yeah, of course I am," John replied.
"What's this sudden fascination with Mycroft anyway?" Sherlock wondered, wrinkling his nose.
"You told me that he occupied a minor position in the British government!" John said accusingly.
"Actually, he was the one to say that," Sherlock corrected automatically. "I was the one to say that he was the British government. Did you not believe me?"
"Well, I knew that he was more than he was implying," John said slowly, avoiding the question. "People who occupy a minor post in the government can't really control the CCTV system at will, kidnap people in the middle of a crowded London street, or 'just happen' to show up at a crime scene minutes after the police do. And they certainly don't hire people to recover top-secret military plans or know the Queen."
"Then what's changed?" Sherlock asked, frowning quizzically.
"I figured that he had a nominally minor position with all sorts of hidden power but this?" John asked. His jaw worked for a few seconds. "I can safely say that I didn't see this coming."
"And 'this' is…?" Sherlock prompted, knowing for once what it was like to be on the other side of one of his deductions and despising every moment of it.
"Your brother is the bleeding Prime Minister!" John shouted.
Sherlock blinked owlishly. "Is he?"
"Yes," John said emphatically. "He's your own brother, Sherlock, as you've just reminded me twice. How could you not know that?"
Loathe as he was to admit it, it was a fair question.
"You knew that I didn't know who the Prime Minister was," Sherlock said stiffly. "You even wrote about it on your blog."
"But it's one thing to not know who the Prime Minister is when it's a complete stranger. It's still rather sad because it's primary school knowledge but when I was in Afghanistan I sometimes didn't hear important news for a few days," John told him. "Not knowing that the Prime Minister is your brother though? How does that even work?"
"Mycroft and I never talk politics," Sherlock explained. "And when he tries I start shooting at things so he's learned to avoid the subject." A thought occurred to him. "I did ask you who the Prime Minister was once, didn't I? I promptly deleted the information once I no longer needed it but I would have remembered if it was my brother. And, again, since you've met you should have pieced it together before now."
"I met your brother Mycroft Holmes, yes," John agreed. "But the Prime Minister's name is Edward Thorne."
Sherlock tilted his head. He didn't recall ever having heard of that man before. "Then why do you think it's my brother?"
"Because Prime Minister Edward Thorne just gave a press conference and you quite positively identified him as your brother," John reminded him. "I had always thought that they looked alike but this is really something else. How could you not know?"
"I don't really keep tabs on my brother," Sherlock replied. "Stalking is more his forte than mine."
"But…the Prime Minister, Sherlock," John said again.
"So you keep saying," Sherlock said, rapidly losing interest in this thread of conversation. He supposed that, given that his archenemy was involved, he should probably remember this new information.
"Mycroft Holmes is his real identity, right?" John asked uncertainly.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "He's my brother; what do you think?"
"But if Mycroft Holmes is his real name then that means that he'd have to have constructed a whole alternate persona just to get involved with politics," John protested. He stopped. "Actually, that does sound like exactly something that your brother would do. But…why?"
Sherlock shrugged. "My brother is a very private man."
"He's the Prime Minister!" John exclaimed.
"Under an alias," Sherlock countered smoothly.
"There is that," John acknowledged. "I suppose being the Prime Minister under a false name is the best of both worlds if you can pull it off. You can have all the power and influence you want and then get away from it all and keep your secrets when you're off the clock. If you're ever off the clock."
"He does manage to find the time to learn everything about my life," Sherlock contributed.
"It's just…I can see him managing to create a convincing enough backstory for 'Edward Thorne' but how can he manage to not get noticed as Thorne when he's Mycroft or Mycroft when he's Thorne?" John wondered.
"Not many people know Mycroft under his real name," Sherlock informed him. "And the two of us didn't make the connection so why should anyone else?"
He was being generous by saying 'the two of us' but he really meant himself, of course.
"You didn't even know who the Prime Minister was so of course you wouldn't know!" John pointed out.
"Neither did you, evidently," Sherlock murmured.
"And I knew that he looked really familiar but I didn't think he'd have an alias and his own brother wouldn't know that he was the Prime Minister!" John burst out.
"Your mistake," Sherlock said simply. "And it is unlikely that other people will notice, either, since they apparently haven't already."
"It's just…your brother is the Prime Minister," John said again.
"If you must persist in pursuing this tedious line of discussion then can you at least refrain from repeating yourself?" Sherlock requested.
"I don't even know how I'm supposed to act around him," John said vaguely. "I've never met a Prime Minister before."
"Act the way you normally do, that seems to be working for you," Sherlock suggested. He paused and rethought that. "Actually, you should change how you to interact. The two of you are getting much too close and it's disturbing me. And he didn't even have to pay that bribe…"
"I'm not spying on you for Mycroft, Sherlock," John said patiently.
"That remains to be seen," Sherlock said petulantly.
"Consulting him because we're both worried is not the same as spying," John insisted.
"Remains to be seen," Sherlock repeated.
"Now who's repeating themselves?" John muttered.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed at that. "Mycroft is Mycroft, John. He always has been and he always will be no matter what official title he decides to hold."
John nodded and seemed to accept that.
Sherlock, satisfied that they were done with this tedious matter, returned to the kitchen to start his newest project.
"But seriously, your own brother!"