Note: This was actually the first Sherlock fic I wrote, but haven't gotten around to posting it up until now. It's just a little one-shot that can be seen as a prequel to 'Alexandria' or not. Doesn't really matter.
No WHAT Sherlock?
The teenager gritted his teeth in annoyance at the sound of his six-year-old brother's voice. He was in the middle of double-checking his notes for his A-level exam the next day, a task that was hard enough to keep interested in without his baby brother hassling him because he was bored. Admittedly, he knew he'd pass with flying colours, despite being several years younger than his fellow examinees.
"Go away Sherlock, I'm busy."
"But you know it already."
"Yes, but I need to make sure I don't fail."
"Because everyone's expecting me to pass. They put me in early so I can get accepted to Oxbridge early, not that I can go yet anyway," he muttered the last part under his breath. He hardly saw the point in being pressured into taking these exams when mummy wouldn't let him go to university until he was sixteen.
"Kids take A-levels early and get accepted to uni way younger than you," the younger brother declared in a matter-of-fact voice.
"Those kids take Maths, I'm doing Law and Politics."
"Maths is based completely on logic, you're either good at it or not. Law and Politics requires skills that come with age."
"So, you're saying you're special."
"You're not special."
Mycroft gritted his teeth. "Then get lost."
A soft knock on the open door interrupted the argument. They turned to see the young house maid standing in the doorway, carrying a tray. "I'm sorry to disturb you, but your mother thought you'd like these tea and biscuits," the maid said, a soft hint of a eastern European accent in her voice to accompany the small grammar mistake amongst her otherwise excellent English.
"Thank you Aureli, if you could just put them on the desk."
The woman stepped forward, placing the offering between the brothers. One look confirmed what the eldest had suspected for a while. "You should really call the police."
His sudden comment caused her eyes to widen, her entire body stiffening for a moment. "I'm sorry?"
"If your girlfriend is beating you, you should call the police."
The colour drained from her face. "I do not know-"
"Yes, you do. If she's hitting you then it's evident that she doesn't care about you, no matter what she says."
"I-I must go."
He watched as the girl practically ran from the room, a soft sob barely audible as she fled down the corridor. He'd given his two cents and now it was down to her, though he doubted she'd do anything. People could be ridiculously sentimental about these kinds of things, defying the logic that lay before them in favour of what they wanted to see.
Not looking back, he reached behind him and plucked the plate of biscuits out from his brother's grasp and held them high with one hand.
"How do you do that?" Sherlock demanded.
"I knew where the plate was and it was obvious you were going try and take some."
"Not that, how do you know stuff about other people?"
Mycroft looked down in surprise, seeing his little brother glaring at him, one hand still reaching for the plate high above his head. He supposed it wasn't really surprising that the little boy hadn't worked it out yet. He was clever, almost as clever as Mycroft himself, but he was still only six. Deductions utilized logic to make that leap between the evidence and the conclusion, but they also required experience to know what the small signs meant, especially when one had to make an educated guess.
While Sherlock walked into a room and noted everything inside, he'd discard most of it almost as quickly, labelling it as 'not interesting', and paid little attention to other people. It wouldn't have occurred to him - as he played and explored life - that if he connected the dots in the hints that people unwittingly displayed to the world, that there was a font of information. But then, Mycroft had always been fascinated by people while Sherlock was more interested in finding out what was at the top of a tree or what would happen if he jumped from the apex. Other conclusions to draw up were far more appealing to him than the trivial matters of the general populace.
"I look at people," came the older child's reply. It was the simplest and truest answer. It had taken him a few years to figure out why people didn't see the things that he did. Until he finally realised that they just didn't look, not really, not properly look. When they looked they only saw a vague sketch of a man, rather than the oil painting with the information board below it.
"So do I," the younger boy pouted.
He looked down at his brother for a moment before setting his plate on the opposite side of the desk, careful in case this was just a ploy to get to the treats. Standing, he led his brother over to a large window, the sill converted into a comfortable window seat. Sitting down, he pulled Sherlock onto his lap, the child pulling a face but making no further objections at the prospect of a potential lesson. Mycroft pointed down at the terrace, his little brother following the line to where their parents were taking high tea with several friends. A moment later, the maid appeared, looking more controlled, but her expression still tight. Not that anyone in the party would notice any turbulence in a servant.
"Look at Aureli and tell me what you see, but really look at her."
Sherlock frowned. "She's carrying the scones, jam and cream over."
"More than that, more detail, notice the little things. Which hand she uses, how she does it, the little marks on her clothes and skin."
Frowning more deeply, Sherlock tried again. "She's placing the things down with her left hand and now she's moving things over from her other hand and putting them down, but it would be far quicker if she didn't switch hands." He looked up at his brother. "I didn't know she's left handed."
"She isn't. She's favouring her right side. See how she's not as coordinated when using utensils? Clearly not the hand she'd normally use. Also, notice how she doesn't stretch out as much when using her right side and she moves more stiffly? She's trying not to disturb the bruising. Watch her face as father stops her with a hand on her bicep a little too tightly for her."
"She twitched!" the younger boy triumphantly cried. "She's trying not to wince."
"Good, now her clothes."
"She's wearing long sleeves, but it's very warm outside."
"She's hiding her injuries."
"Who says she didn't fall down the stairs?"
"For the third time in four months? And with the bruising so selectively placed? See how they are mainly on her right side," he continued. It suddenly occurred to him that, perhaps, this was not the most appropriate example to give a boy who had only been going to school for a little over a year. Still, it was too late to turn back, "she may not be left-handed, but her attacker is. Finally, remember what she was like six months ago?"
"Happy, she used to give me biscuits and play with me."
"Whatever is happening is having a psychological, mental-"
"I know what psychological means," Sherlock announced, affronted.
"Of course you do. Whatever is happening is having a psychological effect on her."
"How do you know it's the girlfriend?"
"Her family live in abroad. She came over on her own to work, so it has to be a partner that she met over here. Unless she has family over here or they've come to visit."
"An educated guess."
"Still a guess," Sherlock uttered smugly. "What about the girl part?"
"Watch her reactions to the men and women." Mycroft was rather glad that his parents had invited their more striking friends today, better illustrating his point.
"She looks at the women far more, especially Lady Maria."
"She's attracted to her. Aureli's homosexual, which means that her partner must be female, not male."
He watched as Sherlock gazed down at them, taking it all in. "That's great," he finally said. "What can you tell about the other guests?"
"I have a better idea, why don't you give it a try. Go down and get a really good look at them, work it out for yourself and then report back to me."
"Okay!" Sherlock bounced off his brother's lap, running out of the room with Mycroft a few steps behind. As soon as the boy was over the threshold, the elder brother closed the door between them and turned the lock.
"Hey!" he heard the muffled cry from the other side. "You just said that to get rid of me!"
"No shit, Sherlock," Mycroft muttered under his breath, walking back to his desk and revision.
"No WHAT Sherlock?" the boy shouted through the door. "I heard that, Mycroft! I'm telling daddy."
"I don't care," Mycroft replied, knowing he wouldn't.
As he sat down, his little brother rattled on. "Well, the joke's on you. I'll investigate everyone and then you'll have to listen to all of my findings."
"Have fun," the elder boy replied as the sound of small feet could be heard against the wooden floorboards, allowing him to return to his own seat. However smart Sherlock may be, he was still a young boy. He'd see something 'shiny' and forget all about the challenge.
Sighing, Mycroft took a sip of his rapidly cooling tea. Biting into a chocolate digestive, he looked down at his notes. Now, back to Woollin, R v HL.
I've so been wanting to use the saying 'No shit Sherlock' in a Sherlock fanfic for so long now. A small part of me is very happy now.