The Long Week
Chapters: 9 chapters + prologue & epilogue
Type: crime, adventure, friendship, family
Main characters: Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson (no slash / no incest)
Timeline: Set after 2x02 "The Hound of Baskerville" and before 2x03 "The Reichenbach Fall"
Summary: Sherlock negotiated with Mycroft 24hours at Baskerville. Therefore when his brother comes to him with a case, the detective simply cannot refuse... and all hell's breaking loose.
Both brothers find themselves embarked in a race against the clock, in which they don't only need to outrun and outsmart foreign killers but also Britain's very own MI5.
Beta Reader: the wonderful Kate (aka love-like-burning)
Disclaimer: Don't own the show; don't own the characters (sadly).
Written: February/March 2012
"How are you brother, dear?" Sherlock starts the phone conversation with an unusually enthusiastic voice and obviously faked tenderness.
Mycroft smirks slightly at the tone, which he recognizes instantly. He gives himself a split-second to smile at the memories it elicits. The elder Holmes has heard it many times when they were younger; he still has a name for it: it's the my-little-brother-really-wants-something-and-he'll-even-play-nice-to-have-it tone.
"Very well, thank you for asking," Mycroft replies with an equally artificial sugar-coated voice. "I have to say, it's a relief to finally hear from you my dear little brother, I was starting to wonder if you had not received my texts," he continues with the same intonation. If Sherlock needed something from him, Mycroft did not intend to make it easy for him. After all, this was a game both men knew how to play.
"Apologies, but I've been awfully busy," the younger replies. "You know, working for a client deeply in need of help whilst trying to bring peace of mind to an entire town," he quickly adds, and Mycroft has to roll his eyes at the dramatics.
"So I've heard," he says, a hint of disdain colouring the edge of his words. "And breaking into a secured military facility was, of course, the only way to help the poor souls-"
"Obviously," Sherlock interjects quickly.
"And using my credentials was your only option, never mind that I'd have to spend an entire afternoon explaining myself to my superiors and filling in a mountain of paperwork to square things with the army. Yes, evidently my troubles really are nothing compared to the greater cause you were serving." Mycroft finishes in a flourish as if he'd never been interrupted. It's Sherlock's turn to roll his eyes.
"Mother always did try to teach us to be good boys and help others," he simply states, knowing his brother can't argue with that. The detective is playing his cards well, Mycroft has to agree. Enthusiastically, he takes their verbal battle to the next level.
"There were easier ways," he says evenly, a drip of laziness thrown in for good measure.
"Ah, but time was of the essence Mycroft," the youngest replies, his words picking up speed. "And we needed the element of surprise,"
"I'll concede to that, Sherlock. And you did after all just call me to apologize." He inhales loudly for effect and waits for a beat before continuing. "Give me my card back and we'll forget this incident ever happened. Now, I'm afraid that you'll have to excuse me, but there is a meeting I need to attend."
The line goes silent for a few seconds, and Mycroft smirks; he knows the best part is coming.
"My case is not finished," Sherlock starts, and his sibling can hear the cheerful façade falling to pieces with each word. "I need to go back to Baskerville," he adds somewhat reluctantly.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible, but I appreciate you asking me first this time." Mycroft replies, forcing himself to sound a little bit regretful; it's the perfect moment to remind the brat who taught him to play this game in the first place.
"It's for the case," Sherlock says again, somewhat petulantly.
"Terribly sorry, but it's out of my power. Surely you can work around it," he replies.
"I need to go back inside," he says and Mycroft can picture him frowning in exasperation. All niceties are now gone from Sherlock's voice and the elder is ready for the coup-de-grace.
"No can do, I am ever so sorry brother dear," he replies and it's getting hard to keep the smile from his voice now.
"Stop playing Mycroft!" Sherlock spats, knowing he's beaten. He sighs audibly and forces the words out, "I need twenty-four hours. What's your price?"
The elder Holmes debates whether he should let out a victory laugh, but finally decides against it, realizing it wouldn't do much good to antagonize his brother more at this point. He however gives himself a few seconds to savour his win before replying, "Well, if you put it that way then Sherly." He enjoys the use of the nickname he hasn't had a chance to voice in years, "I'll require two things: the return of my card and a favour."
"What favour?" Cold, detached words now.
"I haven't decided yet; but I'll make sure to let you know." Mycroft replies in a triumphant voice.
"Fine!" Sherlock gives in and promptly ends the conversation without saying goodbye.
Feeling oddly contempt, Mycroft deplores the lack of CCTV coverage in the countryside. What he wouldn't give to have a look at the detective's face; Sherlock always was a sore loser.
"Poor Watson," he thinks. "Knowing my brother, you're surely going to have a bad day now."
I'm using quite a few acronyms here and there further ahead in the story, so here's a little bit trivia to help if you're not from London or familiar with British Intelligence system. Hopefully I got it all right (thank you Google Maps and Wikipedia).
MI5: officially known as The Security Service
Headquarters: Thames House (on the north bank of the Thames)
Job: acts as Britain's internal counter-intelligence and security agency (aka spies who stay in the country)
MI6: officially known as The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)
Headquarters: SIS Building (on the south bank of the Thames, near Vauxhall Cross)
Job: supplies the British Government with foreign intelligence (aka spies who work abroad)
The easier way to go from one building to the other is via Lambeth Bridge, on the east.
MI5 and MI6 both operate under the formal direction of the JIC.
JIC: officially known as The Joint Intelligence Committee
Headquarter: Whitehall (not far from 10 Downing Street)
Job: they're a branch of the British Cabinet Office and they are directing the national intelligence organisations of the United Kingdom (MI5, MI6, GCHQ, DI)