CHAPTER 17. ATONEMENT
Mycroft approached the warehouse, holding his umbrella tightly in his hand; he'd absent-minded grabbed his brothers blue scarf from inside the car this is what he held in his left hand. Entering the warehouse, he caught sight of five terrorists on their knees, the borrowed military men trained their weapons on the terrorists, as a police officer handcuffed the disarmed criminals.
Sherlock stood with his arm firmly around a nearly unconscious Doctor, the dark haired detective seemed to sense his brother's presence and twin gray eyes met, and held.
"Get a medic in here." Mycroft called behind him, approaching his brother and friend. Yes, no one needed to know, but Mycroft could admit it to himself, John Watson was a friend, he was family.
"Look John, the Queen has arrived. Mycroft. I knew you would show up, thought you'd be here sooner." Amusement, that's what Mycroft read in his brothers eyes, and the British Government clutched his umbrella, resisting the urge to smack his brother with it.
"My apologies John, I would have been here sooner had a certain brother of mine not drugged my scotch."
"Your scotch?" John mumbled his head resting on the taller detectives shoulder, eyes closed.
"In my defense John, had he followed his Doctor's orders, I would not have had to resort to such underhanded means."
"Sherlock? You drugged your brother?"
"He checked himself out of the hospital against doctors orders." John took a deep breath, well as deep as his sore ribs would allow.
"Mycroft dammit. You have a serious head injury." John meant for his voice to come off irritable but instead it was breathless and almost a whisper. Someone was laying him down on a soft surface. "You still owe me a lunch." He grumbled.
"Ah, that's where I left it." Sherlock grabbed his scarf out of his brothers hand smiling easily he started after the cot carrying his injured friend. Mycroft falling into step beside him. Neither brother could find the words to fill the silence pushing at the familiar wall they'd constructed against each other.
John winced in pain when the medics jostled the stretcher. Sherlock opened his mouth to reprimand the bungling idiots, but his brother beat him to it by snapping in his most authoritative voice.
"Do be careful. The man is injured enough."
John felt the pinch of an IV, but tried to focus on the two brothers, the shadows from the emergency lights danced around their fair skinned faces. He thought they were standing closer together, a smile on their lips as they discussed the demise of a common moose faced enemy.
The Doctor somehow managed to understand Sherlock and Mycroft, as if he were a radio catching their particular frequency, finally a warm soothing sleep wrapped around him like a, comforting orange shock blanket.
"Although I am very pleased as well as relieved to have you both back safe and sound I am disappointed to report that Duke Harrington managed to get away."
"I wouldn't say he will get too far." Sherlock grinned, shooting a knowing look at his brother.
"I should think not." Mycroft straightened, leaning on his umbrella.
Duke Harrington supervised his men loading the detonators and the British made explosives. The explosives had been moved from the Base that, now deceased Director Joseph Perry had been in charge of running. The Duke hadn't cared about the destruction of the Irish warehouse, they'd made the drop and that was all that mattered.
"Now for our cash exchange." The Duke smiled excitedly, his men standing behind him weapons in hand in case there was some kind of trouble.
"Right, your just reward." Came a familiar voice.
Sherlock smiled coldly watching the recognition spread across the dim witted Duke's face. The idiot moose of a man could only stand with his mouth open eyes wide. Mycroft's men surrounded the thugs, and the supposed terrorist buyers flashed their government badges, the Duke and his men surrendered without a fight.
"You should know by my reputation you silly foolish man, that when it comes to attacks on those I care for I can be quiet ruthless."
"You bastard!" the Duke growled.
"Oh, how conventional." Sherlock rolled his cold eyes, shoving his hands into the dark coat's pockets, he sauntered passed the arresting officers and men.
"Sir, we can take it from here if you're wishing to return to the hospital. Agent Dresson there can take you back." Sherlock narrowed his eyes on the Agent who stepped forward.
"Sir. I will escort you to see John-I mean Doctor Watson." Sherlock only followed the dark haired Agent, matching his stride easily being of the same height. "Your brother is already there." Sherlock paused momentarily his dark eyebrow arching.
THE HOSPITAL SCENE
"I don't know why I even agreed to playing a game of chess against you Mycroft. You obviously already won the game before the board was set." John grinned easily, lying back in his hospital bed.
"Doctor you did put up a somewhat admirable fight." Mycroft smiled politely, John shot him a unconvinced look.
Sherlock entered the hospital room now, "Mycroft I wish you wouldn't harass the poor doctor he needs his rest." He glanced down at the chess board, "Really John, did you even try?"
"Well brother it looks as though you've completed your business for the day, everything went off without a hitch I see."
"Of course it did dear brother. I'm sure one of your many cronies has already sent you the details." Sherlock ran a quick eye over the chess board set on Johns bedside table. He noticed Mycroft had allowed John a few pieces, before going in for the kill. One of the pieces left on John's side was his knight, Mycroft always went for Sherlock's knight.
"Oh, just making sure all the loose ends are tied up." Sherlock sighed.
John reached for his phone hearing a text message come through. Sherlock noted his friends down turned lips.
"Harry is unable to visit." Sherlock kept his voice even, a statement not a question.
"Yes. Well she has her Job, and she has never been one for hospitals."
Mycroft cringed at the nagging image of a young John and Harry Watson in a similar hospital setting.
"Of course." Sherlock nodded unimpressed.
"Gentlemen visiting hours are almost over. Mr. Watson-" the red haired nurse with the permanent frown on her face was cut off in mid sentence.
"Doctor." Both Holmes corrected her at the same time.
"Yes, Doctor Watson needs his rest." Nurse grumpy replied with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
Mycroft took the opportunity to go, knowing Sherlock wouldn't acknowledge the hospital protocol. So it surprised him that his younger brother followed at his heels. He gripped his umbrella, "Mycroft." Sherlock's baritone voice sounded unsure. The older Holmes froze in mid stride.
"Sherlock, that was a dangerous gamble."
"I had no choice, I needed to be sure that John was alright. If I hadn't-they would have drugged him and he would have more than a few broken ribs and stitches to worry about."
"What if I had been too late."
"Mycroft, when have you ever been too late?" Sherlock held his breath, knowing something had to be said between the two, this tension was in fact becoming exhausting.
"I have been before." a defeated tone.
"Not when it mattered."
"Well this is new." Mycroft still kept his back to his younger brother.
Sherlock hands in his pockets, in hopes to move out of these uncharted waters of sentiment, that neither brother knew how to comfortably navigate the younger Holmes resorted to his normal childish remark.
"Hope you have better luck with your diet this week."
"Oh brother mine. Do you think you could keep yourself and your flatmate out of trouble for at least a week? The additional paperwork is getting quite irksome. "
Sherlock didn't dare look in his brother's direction. But out of the corner of his eyes, he caught the tension in Mycroft's shoulders slack, before the Government official continued down the hall, with the sound of an umbrella tapping the cold floor in rhythm with his every step.
While Sherlock waited for Agent Dresson to take his leave he moved to the chess board taking one of it's wooden pieces then throwing himself into an uncomfortable chair beside his friends bed, he rolled the piece around in his hand and sighed dramatically.