Author's Note: Written for sherlock-flashfic's challenge, The Case of the Open Secret. Just having a bit of fun. I own nothing.
Refusing the Knighthood
When Mycroft Holmes arrived at the Jedi Academy to select a Padawan learner, he had only one prerequisite.
"Precocious," he said. "I'm looking for a precocious child."
The Masters ushered him through a subterranean warren of meditation chambers and then up onto the central training floor. He stood quietly in one corner and observed. A few students were sensitive enough to feel his weight in the Force even through his shields; they drifted toward him semi-consciously, as if responding to a gentle warp in the wood beneath their feet. These merited an interview. The first three were clever, disciplined, and deferential to a fault.
After sending the last away, Mycroft felt a shift in gravity. He turned to find a dark-haired boy inspecting the hem of his robe from a distance of fifteen yards while balancing upside down on a single thumb. His face was solid purple, indicating at least a half hour spent in that position, and the skew of his remaining limbs was apathetic in the air. He looked like a marionette dangling haphazard, but his eyes were sharp.
There were no other children near him.
For the next two hours, they did nothing but watch each other. Neither changed position – Mycroft wondered in a detached way what the boy was doing to his own pulmonary system in order to prevent dizziness and loss of focus – and neither spoke.
When the dinner bell sounded, Mycroft nodded and left.
He came back two hours later. The child was now upright and fiddling with what appeared to be a recording of the polyphonic motets of Lassus. "You're overfond of biscuits," he remarked without looking up.
"True," Mycroft said easily. "I'll probably steal yours. Furthermore, I must say I've no interest in dueling – far too much legwork – so if you're in this for the gaudy laser swords, I'll be of little help. I talk constantly but I always mean more than I say. I am controlling, and that is no small matter. But I suspect the sticking point may be this last: I am smarter than you are."
At that, the child's head snapped up.
"I am, you know. I don't expect you to take my word for it now, but soon enough you will see and it will be rather unpleasant for you, though how unpleasant will depend on how much you want to learn."
The boy frowned, put out and a little fierce. Mycroft cut across his protest before it began. "Two people should know the worst of each other before agreeing to live together, don't you think?"
"I'm not agreeing to anything," the boy said. "This is pointless. I have no intention of becoming a Jedi Knight."
Mycroft was actually taken aback. "You…you don't –"
"You heard me. The knighthood doesn't interest me. The Force does. I'd not make anyone a respectable Padawan in a thousand years, and respectable is what you're looking for."
"What makes you think that?"
"The strength of your mental shields, the ink on the ball of your thumb, the datachip implanted in your left canine and the awful part of your hair."
"Very good. But what about the sole of my shoe?" he prompted, raising it.
"Oh," the child breathed. "Interesting."
His name was Sherlock and he was an absolute disaster from the start. He was the most tactless brat imaginable and made a brilliant hash of fully half of Mycroft's diplomatic assignments (though no one else on the Council quite realized how careful Mycroft was in deciding which missions deserved such handling). He burned his Padawan braid five times in various experiments before chopping it off; by the age of thirteen he'd settled on short, distinctive curls, suspended between the shorn humility of an apprentice and the full mane of a Jedi.
With Mycroft's help, his mental and emotional shields were impenetrable by the age of fifteen, which was why hostile Council members had such trouble making their case that the boy was growing into a powerful Sith.
"He has no patience, no ethics, no compassion!" they hazarded, unable to read him.
"He has no attachments, no fear. And if boredom is a catalyst for the Dark Side, it must at least be quite a slow-acting one."
Mycroft was accustomed to having all the answers, and he found Sherlock quite useful until the day they boarded the Gloria Scott en route to the spice mines of Kessel and the boy signed his name on the manifest with the soubriquet 'Holmes.'
"Sherlock Holmes?" Mycroft queried once they were in their quarters.
"What? You're the closest thing to family I have. That's fact, not sentiment."
And there it was. In his twenty-first year, Mycroft Holmes – a prodigy of Knighthood well on his way to becoming a Master – discovered the insidious strength of attachment.
At first, he struggled quietly in something close to panic. Then one afternoon Mace Windu, chief among Sherlock's detractors, pressed the issue.
"You're letting your Padawan run wild, Master Holmes. If you haven't the energy to curb him now, he will grow into a threat that we will have to fight against with more than words. He is too powerful to be left to his own passions."
"You exaggerate, Master Windu."
"He uses mind control indiscriminately. You don't find that disturbing?"
"I find it annoying that he can't be bothered to type the least message without appropriating someone else's fingers, but it's not as though he's doing them real harm. He's impatient, not malicious."
"And you are cavalier." Windu looked at him carefully. "That is not a flaw I would have expected of you before you adopted this boy, Master Holmes. There are times when I begin to think you would raze the Temple itself for his sake."
Mycroft laughed. "You paint my feelings quite out of proportion, I assure you."
That much was true, he realized. Master Windu had severely underestimated him.
Sherlock amused himself with solving crimes, thriving in the urban hub of Coruscant with its endless supply of interplanetary smugglers, mercenary clones, and political assassins. He was thirty-five and still nominally Mycroft's Padawan when he met John Watson.
John was a nobody from nowhere; if there was a bright center to the universe, then Tatooine was the planet it was farthest from. He was a smuggler, just another piece of human rubbish at first glance, but Sherlock's first glance was keen.
"You smuggled slaves, Mr. Watson," he announced within minutes of their meeting. "That's moderately interesting of you. Not for money or sex or any of the usual pay-offs, either. Are you an actual humanitarian? I don't believe I've ever met one before." He extended his hand with a false smile, and when John shifted uncomfortably, he added, "Oh, of course. The limp's psychosomatic but the shoulder's not. Has it limited your range of movement?"
"My range of movement's fine," John said. "I was just deciding whether to exercise it with a handshake or a punch."
"I often inspire such questions," Sherlock said. "The Hutts have a dangerous reputation when it comes to employees who cross them, let alone steal their slave girls out from under them. They caught you, obviously. So why didn't they leave you to bleed out on the sand, or feed you to the Sarlacc?"
"They thought it'd be more fun to freeze me in carbonite," John answered gamely. "Thanks for this."
"Fascinating," Sherlock said, and he meant it.
Within forty-eight hours John had bulls-eyed their killer with an ancient blaster since certain idiots couldn't be bothered to remember their lightsabers.
"So uncivilized," Sherlock grinned, and made a rather important decision.
"What is it now, Sherlock? If you're still looking for Council subsidies regarding your rent then I suggest…"
"No. There's only one favour I ask of the Council."
Mycroft raised his eyebrows.
"I've apprenticed myself to a new Master. I ask for formal release and reassignment to serve as John's Padawan."
This earned Sherlock a slow blink. "Sherlock, I realize your training has been little more than a joke for decades at this point, but this is taking things a step too far. It's tantamount to leaving the Order altogether. And for what? John is no Jedi. He has neither power nor even the most basic awareness within the Force. He's incapable of training you."
"Does the Council imagine that it is power or awareness upon which I require instruction? It's common knowledge that my weaknesses lie in another direction. I can learn much outside the Temple and the Order."
Mycroft stared at him a long moment. "You're…serious, aren't you?"
Sherlock stared back, eyes grey and calm, without a hint of red. "I am no Sith. I am no Jedi. I'm Sherlock Holmes, and you may tell them the address is 221B, Baker Street. Afternoon."