Inspired during a conversation betweeen myself and Fire-chan9490 about how Holmes in the ACD!canon calls Watson "my Watson" several times. I wanted to write something using the line: "What have you done with my Watson?" and so here it is.

Disclaimer (since some crazy stuff is going down on the Internet right now): I DON'T OWN BB!SHERLOCK (and I'm pretty sure ACD!Sherlock is public domain by now...?) SO PLEASE DON'T SUE ME. AND IF YOU THROW ME IN JAIL, PLEASE PUT ME WITH THE REST OF THE SHERLOCKIANS.

Also, many thanks to the awesome Melandria for being my Brit-picker!


Negotiations


"Pass me my phone."

Mycroft sat silently with one eyebrow quirked, watching in amusement as his little brother thrust a hand out behind him without bothering to turn around.

"I said, pass me my phone." A note of irritation crept into Sherlock's voice and the fingers on his outstretched hand wiggled impatiently.

"Get it yourself," Mycroft said mildly, not moving a muscle. "Surely even you have mastered the act of putting your hand into your own pocket by now."

"Shut up, Mycroft," came the snappish response. His brother had always had a quick temper, at least where he was concerned. "I was talking to John. John, pass me my phone!"

Mycroft waited a few more beats for the penny to drop.

As expected, Sherlock flipped onto his other side and surveyed the rest of the flat suspiciously. "Where's John?"

Tapping his fingers lightly against the handle of his umbrella, Mycroft studied his brother. "Dr Watson is… otherwise engaged at the moment. But no matter; I have a case that I think you'll find interesting."

Sherlock growled, jackknifing into a sitting position. "What have you done with him?" he demanded, brow furrowing. When he received no reply, he leaned forward and grabbed the front of his brother's jacket. "What have you done with my Watson?"

" 'Your Watson'?" Mycroft scoffed, knocking Sherlock's hands off his lapels and straightening them. "You sound absolutely ridiculous, you know, talking about him as if he were some type of stuffed animal." He paused. "Oh, I see. I thought you'd trained yourself out of the need to cuddle something as you slept." His nose wrinkled disdainfully as he said the word "cuddle".

Sherlock's lips twisted downwards. "I don't cuddle John."

Mycroft tilted his head, letting his posture declare his skepticism for him. "Come now, Sherlock. It's not on to lie to your own brother, especially when we both know the truth." He let his eyes flicker around the room, pausing on the skull on the mantel and several other spots in the cluttered room for just a moment, and then smirked inwardly, knowing very well that as soon as he stepped out the door, Sherlock would begin systematically tearing the flat apart looking for hidden cameras.

He wouldn't find any, of course. Mycroft's people were very good at what they did, and he wasn't indiscreet enough to hint at the cameras' real locations, even unconsciously. But it would take Sherlock a while to realize that.

In the meantime, it would be greatly entertaining to watch his little brother drive himself mad, dashing about on a wild goose chase.

"Mycroft!" Sherlock barked, glowering. "Answer my question!"

"Hmm? Sorry?"

"What have you done with John?"

Mycroft smiled placidly, folding his hands in his lap. "Why, absolutely nothing. Are you feeling tired, little brother? Your mind seems slow today. Shall I put you to bed and tuck you in like I used to? Do you need me to find your Watson so that you can cuddle him as you sleep?"

"I don't cuddle him!" Sherlock exploded indignantly before scowling at his loss of composure and subsiding. Sullenly, he added in a mutter, "It's soothing. It's John-therapy. It's science, not cuddling."

"Of course it is." Mycroft flashed him a smile, the kind of faintly patronizing, utterly insincere expression that never failed to pique Sherlock's ire. "Now, if you could focus—"

"If you had time to stop for a pastry on your way here, then it's obviously not an urgent case," Sherlock drawled, one long, spindly finger pointed at a crumb on Mycroft's tie. While Mycroft tutted dismissively and brushed it away, the consulting detective continued, "The smirk on your face says that you interrupted my conversation with John merely to annoy me. The case is just an excuse."

"My dear boy, you weren't having a conversation with Dr Watson. There was nothing to interrupt." It escaped neither of their notices that Mycroft hadn't denied the accusation.

"Of course I was!"

"He's not even in the flat, Sherlock."

"Well, he was before you got here."

"Yes," Mycroft allowed, "he was." He interlaced his fingers and smiled innocently. "Now, what do I mean by that?"

He took incredible pleasure in the way Sherlock's teeth ground together.

"Give. John. Back," the younger man commanded tersely.

"Will you take the case?"

"I'm not doing anything until you bring John back from wherever you've taken him." Sherlock crossed his arms and threw himself back into the sofa with a glower and a pout.

Mycroft sighed. How childish. "Sherlock, you'll have your sidekick back as soon as you listen to me. This case it—"

"Sod the case!" Sherlock sprang to his feet, stepped over the coffee table, and bent down to glare directly into his brother's face. Mycroft leaned back, trying to regain his personal space. The umbrella handle came up to push against Sherlock's chest.

"You aren't making me want to do as you ask," he reprimanded, holding in a grimace. "I don't particularly need to know that you had rashers and a scone for breakfast. Or that you used up all the milk in an experiment and so had to drink coffee instead of tea."

"Like you weren't watching us eat it," Sherlock shot back, retreating nonetheless. In a show of manners that had Mycroft wincing as if in physical pain, he sat grumpily on the edge of the coffee table. "Give John back."

"Or what?" Mycroft couldn't resist continuing the puerile banter. "You'll tell Mummy on me?"

Sherlock was not amused. "Mycroft…"

Mycroft exhaled, steepling his fingers under his chin. "All you have to do is take the case. It's intriguing, I promise."

"Where is John?"

"Very important clients, but of course you won't be dealing with them directly."

"Tell me where John is."

"Five victims, no noticeable pattern."

"Mycroft."

"Just say yes, Sherlock. The paycheck is considerable, too."

"Where is John."

"From the looks of it, Dr Watson could use the help. Do you know, he's been making both your payments to Mrs Hudson for a while now."

"Mycroft!"

"Of course, he is the one who keeps track of your income nowadays. I suppose it makes sense for him to deal with the rest of the finances as well. How… domestic."

"Mycroft, where the hell is John?"

"The first one looked like a suicide—even thought to include a note; very impressive—but her mother insisted on being dramatic about it and they took the case to the Metropolitan Police. When the second and third ones were found, bodies mangled beyond belief, they decided to ask me. I'm surprised that you haven't already heard about it, but it wasn't Detective Inspector Lestrade's division, and we have been doing our best to keep it hush-hush."

Sherlock let his head drop into his hands. "Fine."

"It's nice to know we've done something right for once— What was that?" Mycroft glanced over to his brother.

Sherlock gritted his teeth. "I said, fine. I'll take the bloody case! Just give John back!"

"Excellent!" Mycroft said, clapping his hands together in satisfaction. "I took the liberty of uploading all of the pertinent information onto your laptop—and Dr Watson's, in case you somehow accidentally deleted it on yours—so you should be all set to go. Do let me know how it goes."

"Yes, yes, of course." Sherlock waved his words away with a careless hand. "Where is John?"

"Dr Watson?" Mycroft pushed himself up out of the chair, twirling his umbrella as he stood. "He should be along any—"

"Sherlock? Can you get the door? My arms are kind of full…" When Sherlock continued to sit where he was, a crease between his eyebrows as he worked out the implications of his flatmate's words, the doctor muttered to himself, "Of course you can't. What was I expecting, someone who would open the door so that I could bring the groceries in without dropping anything? Heaven forbid I disturb your thinking—"

The steady stream of grousing trailed away as Mycroft crossed the room and opened the door himself. "Good afternoon, Dr Watson."

"Mycroft?" The blonde shot him a disgruntled look. "No wonder— Er. Thanks." He adjusted the bags in his arms and strode into the kitchen to put his purchases away.

"John?" It seemed that Sherlock had finally unstuck his jaw.

"Yes, Sherlock?"

"Where have you been?" Sherlock's glare, directed towards Mycroft with no little irritation, left no doubt as to the answer he expected to receive.

"What? Sherlock, I—" The good doctor heaved a long-suffering sigh, reappearing in the room with his hands on his hips. "I told you before I left that I was going for more milk. You threw a fit because you had to drink coffee instead of tea, remember?"

Sherlock's eyes snapped towards Mycroft, who spread his fingers and shrugged beatifically.

"Sherlock? What's wrong?"

Ignoring the bewildered doctor's question, Sherlock jabbed a finger at Mycroft. "You tricked me!"

"Did I?" Mycroft was unapologetic. "Then you're incredibly easy to trick, little brother." Sherlock's mouth fell open incredulously, but before he could say anything, Mycroft swept out the door and down the stairs.

"Enjoyed yourself, did you?" Anthea barely glanced up as he slid into the back of the waiting car.

A wide smile spread across his face as he caught sight of Sherlock's nose pressed against the upstairs windowpane, peering down at the street until a pair of hands pulled him away and closed the curtain. It was comforting to know that Sherlock had someone to take care of him now.

"Sir?"

"Hm?" Mycroft looked away from 221b Baker Street as the car began to move. "Oh, yes. Yes, I enjoyed myself hugely."


End.


I'll leave you to decide whether John missed something, or if Mycroft just had incredible luck with his timing.