Warnings: Cracky. Sherlock/John. Seriously, very cracky. No spoilers for series two.

"Well, this is mildly inconvenient."

Greg Lestrade turned to stare at Sherlock; only the world's only consulting detective could call being bound to a chair in a cellar 'inconvenient'. Already his head was aching.

"Indeed, brother mine."

The man on Greg's right looked just as unfazed as Sherlock did. Still, it seemed they were brothers. It figured. The-man-who-likes-umbrellas was re-labelled as Sherlock's-brother-who-likes-umbrellas.

"I suppose not everyone's invincible eh?" Sherlock's tone was cocky and annoying, as always, but there was an edge to it now; smugness? No he always had a bit of that. Superiority? Already had, in bucketsful. He couldn't put his finger on it.

"Do shut up Sherlock. And kindly don't tap on the chair."

Sherlock only drummed his fingers louder, the only part of him that could actually move, besides his head and neck. Unfortunate oversight of their captors that; they might be talked to death before the ransom could be paid.


Sherlock's-brother-who-likes-umbrellas opened his mouth, but Greg got there first.

"I doubt we'll be here long," he said, attempting to break them up. "The whole of Scotland Yard will be looking for me soon."

Sherlock's-brother-who-likes-umbrellas gave a distinct tut. "Pathetic. The entire government will be panicking right now, wondering where I am."

For some reason they both turned to Sherlock, who blinked back.

"I've got John."

So ended the conversation.

Greg was fairly glad he'd been placed between Sherlock and his brother, or he felt they would have attacked each other, hands bound or not. Or at least, Sherlock would have attacked; the brother would have probably sat there and stared patronisingly until he stopped.

He attempted to start up a game of twenty-questions, but Sherlock guessed it within five. Then the-brother-who-likes-umbrellas guessed another in three and Sherlock sulked for an hour.

Greg really hoped the government would show up soon. Or Scotland Yard. Or even John…no he was being silly now. John was a single man, and although he might try, what could he do? Sherlock's faith in him was sweet, but misguided.

Sherlock whistled. The brother hummed. Greg wished he could cover his ears.

Just as he was about to scream at them both to such up or there would be dire consequences there was a squeak and the door opened; someone strode in, one of the men who had somehow managed to get their hands on them. He wore a balaclava and a hood, leaving his face a complete mystery. Greg eyed him apprehensively; he was large, and didn't look above the idea of pummelling one or all of them into small mushes on the floor.

"Not much longer now," said the man. "Your interested parties received the notes less than sixty minutes ago; within a few hours the payments will be made."

"You're a fool," said Sherlock's-brother-who-likes-umbrellas. "Do you have any idea who I am?"

There was a gentle prod to his leg and Greg jumped and caught on to the general theme. "Yeah. Scotland Yard will find us before you're paid a penny."

He felt more than saw the brother give a smug smirk from behind him. Of course Sherlock had to shove his lot in as well.

"And John. You'll want to watch out for him."

The thug ignored him, paying more attention to the brother. "We know exactly who you are. All of you. And that's why we'll be getting paid."

The man left. Sherlock went back to whistling.

It was less than an hour later when he heard the first thuds, but Greg ignored it; there was no shouting. Probably just the men moving the furniture around. Armed criminals had to do something in their spare time, after all. He didn't want to get his hopes up any time soon.

"This should be interesting," said Sherlock, tensing slightly in the chair.

"Indeed." The brother eyed Greg up. "You'll want to get ready."

He looked at them both, confused. "I'm sorry, what-"

The rest of his words were broken off when the door shuddered, splintered and fell inwards. In the millisecond he had to think he would have put his money on the government. It was…well…the government, after all.

So when he saw the figure that stepped through the door, gun in hand, was wearing an oatmeal jumper he nearly fell over. Or would have, if he hadn't been bound to an uncomfortable chair in the middle of a cellar.

"Hello there," said Sherlock casually. "You took your time."

John rolled his eyes and cut the ties around Sherlock's hands with a swish of a penknife. "I get no appreciation sometimes, you know that?"

"Below your usual standard. I've been here at least three hours."

"I was at the surgery. Sarah was off with chicken pox." Sherlock sprang out of the chair and pulled the scarf from around his neck, winding it around his hands. Greg decided not to ask.

The brother was next, and as soon as he was free he leapt to the corner of the room, where a black umbrella was propped against the wall, and proceeded to brush the item down with a small clothing brush he'd produced from inside his jacket (which was immaculate. Greg would really have to ask him how he managed that).

"They didn't hurt you?" said the brother in a surprisingly affectionate tone. When no-one else answered Greg shook his head, and then blushed when both brothers rolled their eyes at him.

"He wasn't talking to us," said Sherlock, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. "He was talking to Martha."

"It's Maria," said the brother crossly. "As you well know."

Greg was interrupted in the process of changing Sherlock's-brother-who-likes-umbrellas to Sherlock's-brother-who-has-an-unhealthy-obsession-with-umbrellas when John cut the ties on his hands and feet and he was finally able to stand. His legs were a little shaky, and he wished he had the effortless grace of the Holmes's brothers instead of looking like a wobbly foal that had just been sedated.

"You'd better get back," said John, casually checking his gun. Sherlock stood next to him, one hand protectively at his elbow. "You aren't armed."

"Neither are they," Greg protested, pointing at Sherlock and the brother. "You're not telling them to-"

There was shouting now, finally, and Sherlock shoved him against the wall before taking up a back-to-back stance with John. The-brother-who-has-an-unhealthy-obsession-with-umbrellas took said umbrella and moved closer to the couple with a positively gleeful glint in his eye.

The first man to step through the door was the one they'd seen before, large and bulky, still masked. There were five altogether, but they paused when they saw all four prisoners released and standing there with a pistol, a scarf and an umbrella and looking as cocky as if they had two machine guns and a grenade.

The bulky one raised a knife and stepped forwards cautiously. John levelled the gun at his kneecaps and fired without pause. There was a scream then silence

"Next?" said John. "You can do better than that."

"That's my John," said Sherlock proudly. The brother made loud gagging noises in their general direction.

Three of the men charged. One pulled out a gun and fired straight at John's head.

Greg shouted out, convinced John was about to crumple and slump to the ground, that Sherlock would scream and fall to his knees beside him and then…

But the bullet never hit; the brother leapt forwards almost before the gun went off and opened the umbrella. There was a heavy thud as the bullet hit it and…melted.

From his inconspicuous position at the side of the room Greg could see it all. Sherlock and John, unfazed by John's very near death, leapt forwards and John fired; the opposing gun clattered to the floor and the man holding it dropped with a howl.

The brother promptly folded up the umbrella in one swift movement and used it to trip one of the remaining men, who'd run at him with a snarl. The thug went down and Sherlock stepped neatly over him, reaching out with the scarf and snaring the next man, dragging him down to the ground and wresting his hands behind his back. John used the butt of the gun on the third.

In less than ten seconds all five men were disarmed and groaning on the ground. Greg opened his mouth, and then shut it again.

"Nice work," said John, leaning up and kissing Sherlock hard on the mouth. The brother rolled his eyes and swept past them, reaching out a hand to Greg.

"Nice to meet you Detective Inspector. I hope you're not alarmed."

He swallowed. "No." If his voice was a little higher who was really to blame him? "Just…surprised."

"I must admit I had expected my men to reach here before the good doctor, but everything seemed to turn out well, all in all, don't you think?"

Greg nodded dumbly. Slurping noises were coming from Sherlock and John's side of the room and it made it hard to think.

"Will you two stop it?" said the brother.

"Yes, please do," said a voice that didn't belong to any of them. Greg whirled along with the rest of them and his eyes fell on a short man in a black suit, with eyes that laughed in a way that sent shivers down his spine.

"Moriarty," Sherlock snarled. His lip turned up as he spoke, like an animal's. The brother cocked an eyebrow at the barrel of the gun that was aiming directly at John's head.

"Hello boys!" He smiled, showing very white teeth. A thug groaned from somewhere on the floor, but everyone ignored him.

"What do you want now?" said John softly, dangerously, stepping that little bit closer to Sherlock, covering him with his body.

"First, I want you to drop that gun. And for Mister Dapper over there to drop the umbrella."

There were two simultaneous clatters, and Moriarty smiled. Greg stood frozen, stock still and shivering a little; more from the adrenaline than from fear.

"Oh this is perfect," Moriarty crowed, stepping forwards, almost skipping. "Four little eggs all tucked away in my cellar, just ready to crack…"

John laughed. Moriarty glared at him; the brother looked mildly surprised; Sherlock rested his hands on the doctor's hips and kissed his hair.

"What is it Johnny?" Moriarty's patronising tone rang through his brain. "Something you want to say?"

John shrugged. "You really don't think I'd arrive without backup do you?"

As he spoke there were footsteps from behind them, and then a woman wearing a purple top and a serene expression stepped into the room.

"Mrs Hudson!" Greg burst out before he could stop himself. John and Sherlock looked smug; Moriarty laughed.

"Really? Your housekeeper? You brought your housekeeper as backup?"

"It's not who she is," said Sherlock. "It's what she's holding."

Mrs Hudson was clutching something white and rounded in her hands, something Greg recognised from endlessly searching Sherlock's flat…

"A skull?" burst out Moriarty. "Oh this is just priceless! What are you going to do, perform voodoo?"

Sherlock sighed. "It's a bomb." Moriarty raised the gun, but Sherlock tutted. "If you shoot her it'll drop, and then there won't be anything left of any of us."

The room went very still. A bomb? How many times had he touched that thing when searching for evidence? Sherlock kept it on the mantelpiece…if it had got knocked off the whole building would have gone up. Mrs Hudson flipped the skull from one hand to the other and Greg saw Moriarty wince, and then try to cover it up a second later with a jovial shrug.

"It'll kill all of you."

Mrs Hudson stepped closer, but didn't speak; her eyes were blazing, and her silence leant everything a sinister air.

"I'll do what it takes to bring you down," said Sherlock. Moriarty whirled to face him, cocking his head to one side.

"Even at the price of John's life?"

John shrugged. "I'm with Sherlock; so long as we die together, I'm happy."

Moriarty clicked his tongue. "How touching. What about your brother?"

"Who me?" said the brother serenely. "I'm immortal don't you know?"

There was a long silence. A second one. Greg had the urge to say "hey, what about me?" but he kept his mouth shut. Moriarty seemed speechless; Mrs Hudson took one more step and in that second Greg knew exactly what was going to happen; he threw a hand over his face, waiting for the inevitable explosion, as the housekeeper brought one skull down on the other.

There was no explosion; Moriarty crumpled to the floor, the gun dropping from his hand. Mrs Hudson kicked it away.

"Landlady, not housekeeper," she said cheerfully.

"Thank you Mrs Hudson," said John, picking up the second gun along with his own. The brother retrieved his umbrella and brushed it down lovingly.

"So it wasn't really a bomb?"

Everyone turned to look at him, and he flushed. Sherlock shook his head, grinning.

"And you're not really immortal?"

The brother laughed. "Oh no. That was just a distraction."

Greg pushed himself away from the wall on shaky legs and poked Moriarty gingerly with his foot. Sherlock and John seemed to decide this was a cue to carry on kissing, John pushing Sherlock back into the wall and nipping his ear. Greg inched away, deciding he was safer with the-brother-who-has-an-unhealthy-obsession-with-umbrellas and the-stark-raving-crazy-housekeeper.

"So it was all role-play?" he said, incredulously. "You came up with all that on the spot?"

"Well…" said Mrs Hudson. "I had an inkling that something was going on when John dear left in such a rush and I thought he might need help. The skull just happened to be there."

"Right. Right."

He shook his head, trying to clear the buzzing in his ears. Just then there was another set of shouting, and men in black suits and sunglasses burst in, ran to the brother, and began to check him over.

"Are you harmed sir?" said one. A woman with dark hair and a blackberry stepped in after them, looked around, and began to text without speaking. The brother smiled, twirling the umbrella around his fingers.

"I'm fine, thank you. How is the war going?"

"Better, now we've got you back sir."

Mrs Hudson patted him on the shoulder. "I know it's hard to get used to dear, but if you get close to Sherlock this is the kind of thing you have to expect."

Happy slurping noises were still coming from the corner; the brother was speaking to the woman with the blackberry on the other side of the room, and the skull was sitting forlornly next to the unconscious Moriarty.

He was going to have one hell of a time trying to explain this to the Yard.

I felt it was time for something more light-hearted...

Thanks for reading! Reviews are very welcome!