CHAPTER 1. DON'T BLINK
Things happened in a series of blinks. Blinks,yes, and it wasn't some sentimental rubbish, he wasn't reliving his life or some nonsense like that, well not at first at least. More like between each blink the present played out and he felt as if he missed a big chunk of the movie in the middle. And maybe some of the beginning, actually Mycroft felt a little dazed about it all, but he did know he wanted off the merry-go-round. No, that wasn't right, the world wasn't spinning, it was tumbling and rolling, finally coming to a rest with a sickening sound of broken glass and twisting metal.
He blinks. It's a short blink and the world isn't spinning, but replaced with a thick haze and the sounds are chaotic and defining.
Another blink, dust or smoke fills his lungs, someone is yelling. He coughs, Mycroft winces it hurts to cough, he makes a note not to do it anymore. Again more yelling, but Mycroft cant make out the sounds, they are muffled, something in him is telling him to move but he just feels so tired.
Another blink "Mycroft, just sit still, don't move. You're going to be all right. I just-" the blond man's voice was cut off. He went from a crouched down position, one that was reaching towards Mycroft, trying to help him. Than, Something happened halting all actions, the world was a bit fuzzy, but the blond man-no. He has a name, and Mycroft knows it.
"John?" Mycroft thought he'd said the name but the sound escaping his dry lips sounded more like a moan. Pain, in his side and head, the younger man had an expression of pinched worry, controlled, always so calm in such chaotic situations. A good mask, and Mycroft wonders how the younger man came to acquire such a defensive response.
But John's mask shatters, John had been reaching for Mycroft when the hands angry, grabbing, tearing, wearing black gloves the kind to hide finger prints, and secrets and hold weapons the deadly kind. And these hands pull the blond man away, rip him from Mycroft's reach. The younger man is gone, and Mycroft puts a hand to his head, it throbs and his vision blurs.
He knows that the blond man, no, his name is John, Mycroft knows that John is in trouble. John is important, he cant remember why John is important. The yelling outside the car it cuts through his foggy thoughts, the sound of men's voices, shots being fired, than the man is back. His brown eyes determined, and Mycroft makes out cuts and bruises decorating John's face. Had they been there before?
He wonders now why the world has turned upside down, slowly, his brain is working at a snail's pace, and he realizes he's in a car that's flipped on its back. He's still strapped in, and more sounds of shouting and gun fire. He tries to form words to ask an important question to the man that has returned, where did he go? The familar young man is talking to him, the tone, Mycroft decides is familiar. He knows this man, where does he know him from?
"I'm going to get you out." The blond man with the bruised and cut up face, promises, and Mycroft knows this is what he will do. This familiar man is crouching down sitting almost underneath a dazed Mycroft, than with ease he unbuckles the government servant, cautious to bring him down from the uncomfortable position, careful hands release the pressure threatening to suffocate. Seat belts really aren't so comfortable though Mycroft notes this one did save his life.
Another blink, and Mycroft hears talking, quickly, more gun fire close again, just outside. Was this a war? Smoke and dust filled the taller mans lungs and he coughed, it pained him to cough. He decided he hated coughing, coughing was painful there fore he refused to do it again. The sun is out, it's a warm spring day maybe, is it spring? Or afternoon, the grass is a little damp under his hands. His suit is ruined, but this doesn't bother him, nothing is bothering him. Where was he? More confusion.
"Mycroft?" John, John is his name. Mycroft reminds himself. This is important. John is important, but why? Why is he important?
" Do this for me Mycroft. Promise that you keep him safe."
"I promise. All of them shall be under my protection, Lestrade, Molly, Mrs. Hudson and John."
Yes, that's it he's significant to someone, someone important to Mycroft, someone he must protect.
"Listen. We were in a car crash-we are under attack. The other cars in front of us where caught in the initial explosion-"
Mycroft blinked, it must have been a long blink or maybe he blacked out but the blond haired man, in the checkered shirt, such casual attire for being one of his men. No, John didn't work for him, worked for someone else. Not for, with, he was not his employee. John is not an employee; he's never been under Mycroft's employ.
"I haven't mentioned a figure."
"No. No I'm not, I'm just not interested."
Another blink, not so long this time. Mycroft sighs taking a deep breath they've moved away from the crashed black car. But they are now behind another one, even more badly damaged. Mycroft can see burned skeletons of what used to be a security team still wearing seat belts within the upturned car.
"You're alright Mycroft." John is talking and Mycroft feels himself searching for the source of the calm in all the chaos. Yes it's chaos all around guns are being fired. John puts something against Mycrofts aching head, his face still bruised. Why was he out of breath, had they been running. Yes, that's right, they had, more gunfire. Running away from the bullets, John was a Doctor. Mycroft thought suddenly.
"We need to get to that car!" John's voice authoritative and Mycroft could see him not in the ripped and bloodied checkered shirt or torn at the knees and equally stained slacks, but a uniform. John was a soldier, Mycroft recalled his service file, yes memories coming back, he could remember that much. A doctor, and army doctor. He fought the urge to blink again, he needed to focus. Focus and remember, they needed clear thinking to survive this situation.
He blinked, he found himself in the middle of an argument between a junior member of his security team, well what was left of it he deduced.
"Listen, Edwards is it?" John cut the young man off.
"Yes. Sir. Edwards-" Mycroft caught how the Doctor with his insistent words, his steady brown eyes running over the dark haired man in a black suit. Dazed as the government servant was, he could see the Doctors assessing the young man, injured right arm, cut hand, than setting on the wedding ring on the security mans finger. "Edwards. I need you to get them out of here. If they get past me I need you to be ready to keep the British Government over there from being taken. "
"Where are you-" Mycroft felt alarm, his mind was still sluggish but the resolve in John's voice, it wasnt good.
"Like I said I'm going to draw fire away. This will buy you time." John kept low, but Mycroft didnt understand what John was getting at. He'd missed an important part of the conversation.
"Sir, this is against procedure." Thomson another Junior officer.
"Oh, well I hate to break it to you young man but it seems those terrorists out there with guns and explosives aren't going to follow the rule book." Mycroft hadnt heard this tone before, at least he didnt remember ever hearing it. Another blink started to come on, and Mycroft tried to fight it. This time however it was different.
A random memory bubbled to the surface, he found himself sitting crossed legged on a oriental rug, a warm fire crackled to his left casting shadows over the antique chess board in front of him. And at the other side, laying on his stomach wearing blue silk pajamas was his younger brother. Sherlock, Mycroft could see the way the boy looked over his pieces, his tiny chin propped in his small delicate hands. Those gray eyes concentrating on the problem before him.
"Sir you are a civilian-" Mycroft pulled away from the memory. He could think a little clearer now. His headache worse, the pounding almost unbearable, and the two men arguing didn't help.
"Oh, oh. Going to pull rank on me? Now? Really-" John frowned at the younger security officer, another married man, probably a father the way he spoke to John as if to a petulant child. Before Mycroft could interrupt, John cut Thomson off.
"Who here has got three tours in? I know how this works, I wasn't just playing nursemaid. Don't forget I pulled you both out of the line of fire. I fought in a war kid. Now you will listen because I'll say it once." John gritted his teeth, only pausing abruptly to turn, firing his weapon, or someone else's he acquired somehow. But he kept firing from his position at the rear of the smoldering car they'd all crowded and taken cover behind. Mycroft tried to concentrate, where were they?
"Sir-" his assistant usually devoid of expression much like him, looked nervous. Of course she'd never been out on the field she was more of his second in command, giving orders from her blackberry. Her hands where clenched in her lap now having nothing to hold too, no mobile to call for help. "Sir, please stay still, you've hit your head pretty hard." Mycroft put a shaky hand to his forehead, someone had bandaged it.
Mycroft watched John grab Thomson by the collar blood stained the body gaurd's white shirt and tie, Thomson, that was the junior officers name. "Listen. Your Job is to get that man there, and his assistant to that car over there. You can not accomplish this if you are under heavy fire. Neither one of you can run very far, you're both injured."
"You're just a doctor-" Mycroft watched the blond man clasp his eyes shut not used to having orders questioned. He was military now, this was Captain Watson.
And that memory surfaced once more, of the chess board and his younger brother searching for a way to save his knight. Mycroft watched mesmerized by the flush in his younger brothers porcelain cheek from the heat of the fireplace. They hadn't played chess in years, well since before Mycroft left for Uni really. Mycroft watched his brother move one of his pieces away from the knight.
"Sometimes brother you have to be willing to sacrifice your knight." Mycroft watched his little brothers gray eyes move to the antique chess bored. They narrowed on the marble piece.
"Sentiment brother, there is no advantage to sentiment". Sherlock refused to listen and took another piece easily over taken and just as easily
"checkmate." Mycroft smugly announced "See brother look at all you lose and for one knight."
Mycroft pulled away from these daydreams? Hallucination? Memories? Whatever they were they were distracting him and he couldn't afford that right now.
"That's right! I am just a bloody doctor. That's why you and your friend there are going to get these two government officials the hell out of here, while I draw fire away! "
"John-" Mycroft flinched, talking wasn't helping his head, and with the new wave of pain came a very strong urge to be sick.
"Mycroft don't you start. You're in no condition. And I don't work for you." John checked the amo in the assault riffle he'd kept slung over his shoulder. He tossed the empty 9mm aside, he then handed the two security officers 9mm he'd taken off the aggressors.
"Here. Take these. Hey-whats the name today?" the PA raised an eyebrow at the doctor's casual tone. "It doesn't matter. Here, you know how to use one of these?" she nodded and he handed her a glock.
"John, you do not have to do this." Mycroft started. His thoughts came rolling forward like a wave. John was significant to Sherlock, Sherlock was important to Mycroft and therefore John must live. Simple mathematics.
"Got any better ideas. No this is the only option. I'll hold them off, you lot get into that damn car, once you're clear of the damn little place where mobile signals go to die, you can call for back up. I'll be right here waiting. " The doctor gave an easy grin, turning once more to fire off some shots with the assault riffle.
"John-" Mycroft was searching for something to say, the ex soldier smiled cutting him off.
"It's alright Mycroft it's not like I haven't been in a firefight before. To think just a few hours ago I thought it was going to be a nice calm afternoon, maybe some lunch at nice posh restaurant, paid for by you of course." John grinned, than his military voice was back. "Alright boys, count to five before you head for that car." John pointed to the only car that had made it in the explosion, unfortunately the unknown attackers had taken out the driver and passenger with an AK, the same AK John had taken off the shooter after killing him and his partner.
John observed the area, this was a good spot, they had some tall grass on their side, if everyone stayed low they could make it unnoticed to the vehicle just a few meters away. The security officers that had survived the first attack managed to widdle down the numbers enough that John only had to worry about the bastards in front of him. Now out of the 6 men Mycroft had guarding him only two remained. Well three if you count John, and John did count himself, he couldnt let anything happen to Mycroft, he was important. God knows what those kidnappers wanted from him, he was a dangerous man yes, but he also had a lot of dangerous information that certain groups would pay money for, but to get that information Mycroft Holmes would have to be tortured. And John wasn't going to let that happen.
"Keep him awake." He directed the PA and then to the two younger men, "Good luck."
This was the best way, John knew it. He planed to slink down in the grass and divert gun fire away from the car. He only wished he knew how many of the would be assassins, kidnappers who ever or whatever they were. "Well John, time to find out." He whispered to himself.
The headache hit Mycroft harder as he began to protest and he blinked against the pain, blinked twice. He was inside a fast moving vehicle his assistant held his head down next to her own on the leather seats. Mycroft looked back, they weren't being perused, but he could hear the echo of bullets. Trade of gun fire from an Ak, and more gun fire in reply. Another overwhelming blink. Then silence-he found himself falling back into the memory of a cool winter night in front of the fire place.
"What if I don't want to lose any of them, what then?" the young boy with the probing gray eyes pouted sitting up now crossing his arms over his chest.
"It's an impossible scenario, Sherlock, you should never become to attached to your pieces. Sentiment clouds your judgment, like father says."
"I don't care for the knight-maybe it's just a tactic to through you off. And Father is an idiot." Sherlock moved again, skipping over his knight. Mycroft sighed, foreseeing a tantrum, but he did try to warn him.