And the wind whistled through the wooden slats, nipping through his thick, woolen mittens, chilling him to the bone.

Martin huddled further into the corner of his little frozen tree-house, wriggling his little frozen toes in order to warm them up just a bit. Above him, a model plane threatened to break off its string as the wind tossed it around violently. He hated snow storms. You can't fly planes in snow storms.

Like a good boy, Martin should go back inside to be with his horrid cousins. Like a good boy, he shouldn't be risking hypothermia just so he could read his book in peace.

Hot tears turned to ice crystals on his cheeks while he angrily turned the pages of Aeronautics: The Story of Flight. It was a library book; a really disgusting library book. Page thirty had a suspicious stain on it that appeared to be snot.

"Oh, grow up."

"A pilot? That's ridiculous. You're too stupid!"

"You can't even pass a math quiz. What makes you think you'll pass a pilot's exam?"

Martin rubbed his watery eyes with the palm of his hand. His vision was so blurry, he could barely see the text on the page.

"Go away, Martin. Stupid is contagious."



What was wrong with gingers? The main character on Martin's favourite television program wanted to be a ginger. And yet, Simon had spat it at him like it was the worst thing in the world. Martin tug on a curl of his orange hair, wishing that it was any other color.

He wished he looked more like his awful cousin, Sherlock. Sherlock was handsome for a nine-year old, and all the adults said so. Not to mention that Cousin Sherly was an absolute genius and aced all his exams and could be a pilot or anything else that he wanted.

Martin, on the other hand, was apparently the ugliest nine-year old ever to have existed, and all the adults said so. With his curly mop of ginger hair and his freckles and his blue eyes that were slightly too far apart and his average intelligence and the fact that he would never amount to anything no matter how hard he tried and...

And it just wasn't fair.

A head popped through the trapdoor in the floor of the tree-house, scaring Martin half out of his mind.

"You're going to be ill if you keep sitting out here," the new voice said.

"W-well, it's better than staying... It's better than being inside with you!" Martin spluttered, shoving his book up his coat front.

"You came out here to escape Mycroft and Simon," Sherlock said, "which is not a bad idea."

Martin pouted. "Go away," he mumbled.

"And go back to them? As if." Sherlock rolled his cerulean eyes and tugged his own book out from the pockets of his swirly black coat. "They won't shut up about government and politics and things that don't really matter."

"This is my tree-house, though." The shorter boy glared fiercely at his cousin, who was older than him by two months and infinitely taller.

Sherlock sat down across from him anyways and opened his book. Martin glanced at the pristine cover. 'Crimes of the Late Eighteenth Century'.

Martin shook his head and warily brought his plane book back out again. Sherlock, thankfully, didn't make any comment about Martin's stupid ambition.

The two read in a slightly awkward silence for a few moments, before Sherlock said, "When I'm a detective, I'll need an pilot to take me to crime scenes."

"I thought you wanted to be a pirate?"

"And I believed you wanted to be an aeroplane," Sherlock retorted.

Martin's cheeks colored.

The wind continued to howl outside, but somehow, the tree-house didn't seem as cold anymore.