On Its Way
Disclaimer: Not mine or I'd have shot Moriarty three episodes ago. Sherlock belongs to the BBC and the original characters etc of course belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Summary: Mycroft Holmes has never had an easy relationship with his brother, they fight and insult each other, causing damage anyway they can. But they're brothers. God forbid anyone else try the same.
A/N: This is based on two assumptions that I've made. First is that Mycroft does care for, and about his brother and protects him in any way he can. The second is that Sherlock rarely speaks of Mycroft, so why would the Scotland Yard Gang know he had a brother?
Also, I know that Anderson would most likely be a Doctor at least but since (correct me if I'm wrong) it isn't specified in the show, I'm calling him 'Mr. Anderson.' I'm enough of a geek that it makes me giggle…
A/N: Timeline isn't set in stone, set some time after 'The Great Game' but definitely before 'The Reichenbach Fall.' Disregard anything we learnt in that episode about Mycroft being a complete muppet.
On Its Way
Mycroft Holmes was not having a good day. The trouble with the Koreans had been taking up too much of his time recently and he had gone into the office this morning after his only set meeting of the day hoping to catch up on paperwork, get himself back up to speed on the smaller details he may have overlooked over the last week or so, and instead he had returned to find a body on the floor of his office and police officers, most of whom he recognized from the surveillance photos of Sherlock on crime scenes, swarming all over the building. He resisted the urge to sigh as he answered the constant, pointless questions from the constable currently questioning him, 'yes he recognized the victim, no he wasn't closely acquainted with him, yes he could account for his whereabouts, he'd been having mid-morning tea with an old friend. The friend, yes of course they'll corroborate the story, just ring The Palace.' The young officer had left quite quickly after that and Mycroft turned his attentions to surreptitiously watching the general commotion taking place in the outer office.
St. Sally Donovan put a smile on her face and headed to the well dressed man standing aloof in the corner watching the proceedings in silence. Mycroft Holmes was clearly an important man - no matter how many times the words 'minor position' were thrown about - and it was never a bad idea to get on the good side of important men.
"Sorry about the interruptions Sir. We are working as fast as we can, Dr. Anderson's team is collecting the evidence we need and the freak will be here soon," Sally Donovan completely missed the twitch of Mycroft's eye and carried on, the look of contempt on her face caused by the mention of Sherlock, badly disguised with the phony smile "It won't take us long to wrap up after that, we should be out of here before the end of the day."
Mycroft was well aware that Sherlock was on his way, he had heard DI Lestrade argue with St. Donovan that with such a high profile case it had to be solved quickly and there was only one way, one person to do that. Had heard the one-sided conversation Lestrade had held moments later
"-murder in the Government building.
"-No, no I.D. yet, extremely well dressed man in his early forties.
-"An office on the left wing of the tenth floor.
"-Sherlock? Sherlock..?" Mycroft had watched as Lestrade shook his head and sighed then brightened slightly as he read a brief text. He lost sight of the man shortly after that as Anthea moved to his side and showed him an incoming message on her own high-tech mobile phone
"Target left 221 Baker Street in extreme hurry. Talking on mobile phone. In cab heading in westerly direction. Orders?" Mycroft had smiled slightly and been briefly thankful that there was no-one of importance to notice the smile or the softening of his eyes as he thought of his brother's actions... The description of the body was generic enough but his office was the only office on the 10th floor of this building. He was aware of his eyes softening further as John Watson, clearly having been in a hurry burst into the outer office and stopped quickly as not to bring attention to himself. John had lifted his phone to his ear and spoke quietly into it as Mycroft read his lips from across the room.
"It's not him Sherlock; he's fine it's not him.
"- Fine as in stood leaning against his umbrella with his politicians smirk on his face, fine." John then raised his voice slightly and Mycroft knew from his words that it was as much for his benefit as it was for the rest of the room
"-You're five minutes away? I'll take a look at the body then and make a judgment while I'm waiting shall I?" It had been then that the Sergeant had sidled up to him with a sycophantic smile on her face
He kept his voice level and a charming smile on his face only through years of practice. "The Freak?" St. Donovan blushed slightly, even she could realize how unprofessional that sounded.
"Sorry Sir, Sherlock Holmes Sir," She paused briefly at the moment of coincidence that the shared surname caused, then continued, "a 'consulting detective' that DI Lestrade occasionally allows to assist on cases" Mycroft Holmes snorted internally and mentally replaced 'allows' with 'begs' "He's a bit strange and probably the rudest man you'll ever meet but he'll help us move the case quickly for you Sir." Mycroft caught the eye of John Watson, having just returned from examining the body standing just behind St. Donovan and shook his head almost imperceptibly; John nodded back and moved to stand out of the way of the team of officers moving through the rooms as he observed the scene.
"You don't appear to like this man St. Donovan, is he not trust-worthy?" Mycroft was well aware that he was baiting the young woman but the events of the last few months had uncaged a protective side to himself that he had, as of yet, been unable to fully push back behind his calm exterior.
Sally Donovan schooled her features into something that didn't show the contempt she felt for Sherlock Holmes and continued to smile pleasantly at Mycroft. "Whatever trick he uses to 'deduce' what has happened, he's usually right. It's just…" Mycroft raised an eyebrow "he's a psychopath Sir, doesn't think the same way as other people, gets excited by murders and couldn't give a… well, doesn't care about the victims. He has no friends" John raised an offended eyebrow and Mycroft smirked as Sally continued her rant, "He's dangerous, and men like him should be behind bars, not allowed to jaunt around on crime scenes giving himself more ideas, more ways to evade the real detectives." Any trace of a pleasant smile was completely gone from the sergeant's face now as she sneered slightly. Mycroft smirked.
"Why do you hate him so much? Could it truly be that you fear what he may become, are you jealous of his detecting abilities or is it simply his complete inability to keep his deductions to himself and your subsequent fear that he will ruin your career and your reputation by exposing your affair with the very married Mr. Anderson to the wrong people?" Mycroft took a moment to enjoy the shocked sputterings coming from the young Sergeant before he raised an eyebrow and spoke again. "I am very much familiar with Sherlock's particular set of skills, it is after all a family trait and I know he hasn't failed to notice that you and Mr. Anderson are wearing the same deodorant and Mr. Anderson has hints of your perfume, standing too close when you sprayed it perhaps? But, judging by the state of your knees, it clearly isn't the first time. And I do believe the term you are searching for is 'highly functioning sociopath'" Mycroft smiled inwardly for a moment before turning to face the voice behind him.
"Careful Mycroft, someone might think you care." Mycroft took in the state of his brother, quickly deducing that although Sherlock had known it hadn't been him that was harmed he had still, judging by his slightly laboured breathing, rushed up to the office from the taxi.
"Me, Sherlock? Care? Don't be ridiculous! I care with repeated stays in expensive rehab centers, I care with 24 hour surveillance, I care by arranging Anthea to heavily subsidise your rent at Baker Street, meaning Mrs. Hudson can give you a deal so that the only man in London who is actually a good friend to you can afford to be your flat mate, I care with snipers and bodyguards, brother." He ignored the horrified gasp as the word was finally spoken. "I don't care *personally*, Sherlock that would be far too," Mycroft shuddered slightly and turned his nose up at the word "normal."
The brothers ignored the whispered 'Oh, dear God there's two of them' and smirked at each other for a moment, soft eyes quickly cataloguing the state of the other and reassuring themselves that all was well before Sherlock clapped his hands together. "You can relax a little Mycroft, it's not your staff, although one of them is still an indirect security risk." There was a moment of shocked silence before most of the people in room started firing questions, insults and generally making unbelieving noises. It continued for a few moments before John walked a few steps deeper into the room and cleared his throat with a raised eyebrow. The room quieted.
"Thank you, now Sherlock, could you break it down please, for those of us who are idiots? "Said with a light smirk" and Mycroft" He added swiftly, glancing sideways at the elder Holmes. Sherlock chuckled.
"My brother hardly needs a separate specification, John. And as for your question, the lock." He glanced round at the mostly blank faces and shook his head, "Well what do you people spend your time thinking about... The lock looks fairly standard but is accessed with a double-sided key." Mycroft glanced at Anthea and she held up her key ring to show what he meant. "There is a fresh scratch on the lock, meaning that although a key was used to gain entry to the office, it wasn't used by someone who does it often and would hold the key up right way automatically, meaning..."
"Meaning that either a stolen key, or a copy made from a 'borrowed' key was used by someone to gain access to the office" Mycroft finished.
"But why does that eliminate the staff, we could be looking at a willing accomplice." Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
"Anderson, what have I told you about talking out loud? The reason the staff aren't directly to blame..." John smiled and glanced sideways at Anderson mischievously
"I think even I've got this one Sherlock, if they were working together they'd probably have told them which way to hold the key, even if they didn't realise how much a scratch would give away, spending time stood outside the door working which way up the key needs to be would look suspicious." The look on Anderson's face almost managed to pull a chuckle from Mycroft, who composed himself quickly and turned back towards his brother.
"Well..?" Sherlock turned towards Lestrade.
"You're looking for someone who is probably a boyfriend/ lover of one of the staff members who have access to this office and who has a connection between both the victim and Mycroft." Sherlock looked around swiftly at the still blank faces and huffed, John smiled and made a small 'go on, explain' motion with his hand. "The killer has gone to a lot of trouble to gain secret access to this office which means he meant to frame or shame Mycroft by leaving the body here, and the victim is a man who has every right to be in this building but no reason to be on this floor much less near this office so he was clearly specifically targeted, meaning the killer is someone who has a vendetta against not only my brother but the victim as well."
"Why boyfriend, and not a trusted friend or relative?" The question comes from Lestrade and it is only a deeply buried, grudging respect for the man that prevents Sherlock from sighing and rolling his eyes.
"The key has to be used almost everyday, which means whoever copied it had to remove it, have it copied and replace it in one evening. The killer has to be someone who comes and goes from the staff member's home without suspicion. Mycroft pays well enough that it's unlikely they stay with family and two visits from the same family member in the same evening seems unlikely, hence lover seems most appropriate. Anything else?" Lestrade shook his head and turned back to his team, directing some to finish collecting evidence while others were sent to collect information on the staff members' backgrounds.
"Well, I'm starved. You joining us Mycroft?" Mycroft turned towards John, a polite refusal already forming on his lips.
"Sorry John, not today, terribly busy you see, a lot of work to be done here..." The sound of something breaking from inside his office and the general blundering of the police swarming over his office pulled him up short. He glanced at Sherlock briefly and, not seeing anything to deter him, finished, "On second thoughts, it's unlikely I'm going to get anything done here today, do you need me here Inspector?" Lestrade shook his head, seemingly surprised to be acknowledged, never mind *asked* by the elder Holmes. "Very well," he turned to Anthea. "make sure they don't break anything too irreplaceable" She nodded. "Did you have anywhere in particular in mind Doctor? There is a very nice Chinese restaurant just down the road, excellent lunch menu..." The voices trailed off as the doors swung closed behind the three. There was a moment of shocked silence before Anderson in all his incompetent bluster, came back out of the office, with small shards of a very expensive figurine on his shoe, Anthea noticed,
"Well now that they've left, can we get back to work? It's bad enough you let the freak and his dog in here now we get Captain..." Anderson's face had started to contort into a mocking snobbish expression when Anthea's voice, short and sharp, cut through the outer office, her eyes not leaving the device in her hands.
"You might not have realised it because of the way Sherlock and Dr. Watson behave around him, but Mycroft Holmes is the most dangerous man you will ever meet." She raised her eyes slightly. "So I would be very careful what I said about him and his brother in his hearing." Anderson scoffed.
"He might be able to play the same tricks as the fr-" A raised eyebrow" -Sherlock, but I doubt he can hear us from across the street." Anderson's smirk faltered slightly as he took in the look and Anthea's face. She raised her phone slightly, and as it began to ring, pressed the speaker button.
"Mr. Anderson" Mycroft Holmes voice was unmistakable. "I would have thought from the dressing down I gave sergeant Donovan that my position on your childish feud with Sherlock was quite clear... From what I hear it appears that your wife has been thinking of leaving you for some time Mr. Anderson but is worried that 'irreconcilable differences' wouldn't be enough to ensure that a divorce hearing goes in her favour. What a boon it would be for her if proof, for example photographs, of your adultery were to find there way into her hands." Mycroft's tone had not changed from the friendly, concerned politician, but it suddenly hardened a fraction. "Anthea's hearing *is* my hearing Anderson, as is the hearing of anyone smart enough to be loyal to me. You'd be surprised at how many people that covers." The phone cut off abruptly and Anthea smirked at the white look on Anderson's face before snapping a quick picture and sending it to her employer and his brother.
"Is there anything else or have you finally decided to abide by 'if you can't see over the top stop digging'?" Anderson shook his head and headed back into the office silently. Anthea sent another message to her employer and settled in to keep an eye on the proceedings.
Mycroft entered 221B Baker Street two days later and dropped a file onto the coffee table between John and Sherlock.
"Peter Harrison, boyfriend to Megan Dailey, one of the lower level employees in my office and brother to John Harrison, a young soldier killed in combat on a mission in Iraq 18 months ago. The dead man in my office was Captain Steeley, the man who ordered the mission and I was the one who refused to allow a further mission to recover the body when it was deemed as too much a risk." John shook his head, amazed once again at exactly how right Sherlock was and Sherlock smiled slightly.
"Told Lestrade yet?" Mycroft nodded.
"The police are picking him up as we speak. Well solved Sherlock." Sherlock looked at his brother as he spoke, seeing the sincerity, and a hint of pride in his eyes, rather than merely listening to the sarcastic undertones of his voice as he would have done a few months ago. John watched the byplay between the brothers and smiled at his paper. All was not quite well with the brothers yet, but it was well on its way.