So, this is my apology for not updating in forever; a nice long chapter with a bunch of little crossover references. And some messing-with-Mycoft. Don't we all love that?

Disclaimer: If I owned Sherlock, season three would have been released months ago.

Returning home from a particularly… eventful case, Sherlock and John almost missed the small envelope sticking out of their letterbox. Sherlock caught the flash of white just in time, and stuck it in his coat pocket.

He remembered it about half an hour later, when Mrs. Hudson had finished scolding them for the stunt they'd pulled (It's not like they'd fallen that faroff the Tower Bridge, and they were only wet from the rain, so he wasn't sure what all the fuss was about,) and John had started on the latest blog entry.

Turning the envelope over in his hands, he allowed himself to study it before he bothered looking for the letter opener (another small knife, different from the one that pinned most of the mail to the wall.)

Cream-laid paper, very high quality, especially for an envelope. No stamp, so hand-delivered, and sealed shut with a subtle but definitely official seal. No address, but our names are written in elegant handwriting, the slopes and curls suggesting an intelligent woman. However, the lack of other ornamentation combined with the seal suggests…

"Letter from Mycroft, John."


Catching the letter opener that John lobbed in his general direction, Sherlock pulled out a single page. Scanning it, he couldn't help but grin at the obviously seething tone.

He did love annoying his brother.

Sherlock and John's Rules for interacting with Government Agencies, Including (But Certainly Not Limited To) The Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA, MI6, MI5, MI13 (even though we still refuse to admit to their existence) and Mycroft's Minions.

Dictated by a Very Annoyed Mycroft Holmes.

Transcribed by Anthea.

1. Sherlock and John are not allowed to bluff their way onto top-secret research facilities.

-Wasn't John already forbidden from using his "military voice" for such purposes?

2. Though we all agree that things didn't go so well the last time the CIA was involved, that doesn't mean that it is acceptable to treat any following agents as if they're worse than Anderson.

-No amount of muffin baskets can smooth over the fact that you pushed him into the Thames.

-I don't care if he insulted your jumper, Watson!

-And aren't you supposed to be the SANE one?

3. On another note, Sherlock is now banned from Lightman Group premises unless supervised.

-John is not considered "supervision".

-Unless he wants to pry those two apart next time they start bickering over emotional vs. quantitative deduction.

-Apparently Torres and Loker found the entire thing hilarious.

3. The same general principal now applies to the following areas/personnel

-SSA Reid and the City of Quantico

-How those two managed to carry on a five-hour non-stop conversation (spanning at least eight languages and more topics than witnesses could count) is beyond
me, but the comments delivered to those who tried to bring your attention back to the case at hand were really uncalled for.

-Dr, Temperance Brennan and the Smithsonian Institution

-However interesting your conversation on how interesting the decaying rates of various tissues under various conditions are, it put everyone else off their dinner.

-SSA Booth and Doctor Watson, however, are still permitted to interact in their "I work/live with a Mad Scientist with no Social Skills" support group.

-As a general rule of thumb, if there is a slightly mad/eccentric/socially awkward/snarky genius in the area, John is to call for back-up and keep a close eye on

-Any more diplomatic incidents and my employer may just have you charged with treason.

3. Should you be arrested and detained by any government agency, you are to remain polite, call the number for the lawyer I gave you, and wait for the charges to be dropped

-Staging a jailbreak not commonly seen outside of a high-budget action movie is completely unacceptable.

-The repairs are taking a rather large chunk out of my tea budget

4. On that note, Detective Kate Beckett would like to inform you that if she sees a hint of either of you anywhere near the Twelfth Precinct, she will personally arrest you both, and force you to be interviewed by Rick Castle. Apparently, you'd be "brilliant characters" for his next book.

-And I won't bail you out until he has all of the "data" he needs.

5. While frankly, I am amazed that NSY hasn't had the both of you arrested more often, sending them on a wild goose chase to apprehend a "mysterious stalker" that is actually the agent I assigned to watch the two of you truly did merit their reaction. Your retaliation to their reaction, however, was entirely unmerited, and will not happen again.

-Next time, you will be re-sorting the files from "the boring scale" back into their proper format, removing the capsicum oil tablets from the coffeemaker, returning all of
the evidence you stole from the archives, re-booting the entire criminal database, re-organizing THOSE files, and buying new plants that aren't Venus flytraps.

-I honestly don't care that they staged seventeen "drugs busts" and confiscated all the experiments and the jam. You deserved it.

And if you break into my offices one more time, I will send you both all of the paperwork that your escapades have ever caused, and prevent you from acquiring any new cases until you've filled out every sheet.

Sherlock neatly folded the missive into a paper airplane and flew it to John, whose eyebrows slowly crept up his forehead as he read it. Laying the document down, he turned to his flatmate.

"Mycroft's certainly covering all the bases."

"Trying to. I've noticed three loopholes already. And that's not even going into the fine detail."

Elsewhere, Lestrade and Mycroft shuddered simultaneously.

Damn. This isn't good. I've actually run out of ideas for this- we'll, I've a very brief idea left for the last chapter, but that wraps up everything and I'll have to end the story, and I'm not sure if I want to do that. Please, for the love of deerstalkers, give me ideas!