Between TGG and SiB, Mycroft "kidnaps" the doctor. This is also a behind-the-scene story. Thanks for reading. Comments are welcome and appreciated.
Mycroft Holmes was reading the morning papers: to be more accurate, his eyes were fixed on the papers, but they weren't moving for minutes. John was running late: rather he had instructed his driver to take a detour to the club. He needed more time to think. A text alert woke him from the deep trance. He pocketed his mobile, and stood up. The doctor had arrived. John was standing at the doorway, looking like a stranger in every possible way. The older man walked into the Stranger's room and John followed him. The door closed softly.
"Sit down, John."
Mycroft pointed at a chair, and turned his back towards a beverage trolley.
"What do you want? Wine? Whisky? "
"This is still 10 o'clock in the morning, Mycroft. I didn't know you drink this early."
"Ah, I took a day off to read papers and enjoy a silent dialogue with myself."
At John's questioning look, he added.
"I am not a machine, John. Sometimes, I need to slow down. Which one?"
The older Holmes, as ever dressed impeccably, touched a wine bottle and asked again.
"Wine will do. Thanks, Mycroft."
Two glasses of red wine were set on the table. John took a sip from his glass. He couldn't but let out a small outcry.
"Wow. It has a balance."
"My favorite. It's brilliant and elegant. It can be consumed even in the morning."
John took another sip and enjoyed it immensely. He looked less nervous now. That was what Mycroft had intended: to let down John's defense.
"What is it that you wanted to see me today?"
"No particular reason. I just felt like to have a friendly chat with a friend…of my brother."
"There is a good news. Sherlock has managed to reduce the number of nicotine patches up to two."
Mycroft applauded silently with a smile.
"It's a great feat, John. Well done."
"Though not without a fight. I always play a hide-and- seek game with him. Mrs. Hudson suggested bravely that Sherlock bribe everystore in a two-mile radius not to sell him any tabacco or nicotine patches."
"Good old lady, Mrs. Hudson. Anyway Sherlock can deduce where you hide the patches. His whining..., haha, he just wants to get your attention."
The doctor fidgeted uncomfortably and asked,
"Ah, I mean, Sherlock always wants a proof that someone cares for him. Like a boy in puberty, like a capricious cat, he behaves at his whim, but wants somebody at his side… He never let it out or recognise it, but, beneath the pretense of not caring, I still see a small boy in him. Well, anyway, if you can persuade him to quit the habit, it will be great. "
"Yes, eventually, I hope I could persuade him. He talks about a board game named a Cluedo?"
A rare look of sympathy fleeted across the older Holmes. The doctor noticed it and turned a bit pale as he heard Mycroft.
"Wow, that's dangerous, John. Playing it with my brother."
"You've been there, right?"
"Ah, Cluedo, like the chess, was the game that never ended when we played. It often took mummy to end the game: she sent us to our bedrooms after ten o'clock. We remembered where we ended the game and used to argue. My mother got tired and banned the game from the house."
John imagined the scene: the game would never end.
"You know we could play it together, the three of us…I am kidding. Good luck with that."
The older brother's eyes twinkled mischievously. The game with the two Holmes did sound nightmarish. John thought himself lucky to deal with only one of them. He took another ship and noticed the older Holmes' eyes fixated on his face.
The older brother didn't touch his wine glass, and asked after seconds of hesitation.
"Are you okay, John? I've read the police report. A maniac… Do you need any counseling? If you do, then I can deal with it."
"Ah, the pool. Yes, I'm fine."
"What did exactly happen?"
"I was off to Sarah's. Someone tasered me and I woke up, in the booth of the pool. I didn't know Sherlock was there until I was told to walk out."
"The C4 explosives were enough to blow up the whole building, John."
"Yes, I noticed it. I was in the army."
"That man, the insane man… Moriarty? He has been responsible for the series of kidnappings. What did he want? The police report didn't detail it. Rather, Sherlock just gave a summary of the incident."
"He was interested in your brother. Moriarty was apparently giving us a warning; changed his mind and returned…"
"And the snipers?"
"How did you know there were snipers?"
"CCTV camera near the pool. My office had confiscated the recording. The grey windowless van was spotted. There were three men: the way they walked and the bag that they carried... We know when we see one."
John flinched as the memory revisited him so vivid and fresh. Mycroft pretended not to see it and continued.
"We've got the HR file of Jim Moriarty from Bart's. Nothing in the file is valid: his residence, name, CV... they are all fake. No finger prints on the personal items that he had at the IT department. No information whatsoever about Jim Moriarty except the close-up photo of him in the file. We've ran it in the government database..., but no match was found."
"Moriarty seemed to know the boy who died in that pool. Carl Powers? Sherlock remembered his death."
After a thought, John asked innocently.
"Have you talked with Sherlock after the pool? You could've gotten more details from him."
Mycroft smirked, got a sip of his wine, and said.
"You know it's Sherlock. Our last meeting didn't end well."
"He told me you were over the moon after he returned the USB memory stick. I got the impression that you two were good."
The older brother muttered out with greeted teeth.
"After the pool incident, I had to see him. First I had to check if he was okay. Second, there was a matter that I really had to deal with. Sherlock somehow had nullified the security of the memory stick, and copied the whole contents into a new memory stick before he returned it. We've recovered the duplicate memory stick from the pool. National security doesn't seem to matter to my brother."
"So you argued with..."
"Yes and he admitted that he shouldn't have done so grudgingly. He swore he won't take any case from me or the government again."
"Which started the second argument?"
John couldn't find what to say so he drank more from his glass. Mycroft also drank the wine, sip by sip, in total silence.
"Well, Mycroft, thanks for the wine. Are we done?"
"The pool incident... I had told you when we first met. When you walk with my brother, you see a battle field. I welcomed you to the lonely war that my brother was fighting."
Mycroft inhaled deeply.
"I didn't expect you to grow into someone more than a flatmate at 221B Baker Street. I didn't expect that Sherlock would drag you into his cases. I thought you would leave after a few days. Sherlock is Sherlock…"
"And your point is…"
"John. Associating with my brother can put you in a great danger, a mortal danger. I thought I should warn you that the battlefield is real."
"I am aware of it."
Mycroft uttered out the next sentence with difficulties.
"For your safety, you'd better leave my brother and move on."
John took in the meaning of the dialogue for a minute; the older Holmes just glared at his wine glass. Then the doctor made an incredulous look as if he couldn't believe they were having this conversation.
"Are you worried about me?"
"Every British citizen matters to me. It's just…my motivation of making you stay with my brother was rather selfish. I needed someone who set his eyes on Sherlock. I would love to, but my approach seems to repel my brother."
Mycroft's eyes met the doctor's.
"My brother is a magnet for dangerous people. Leave and save your life. You had shot the cabbie and saved Sherlock. I owe you this much. John, I am giving you a chance for a self-preservation."
John finished his wine and set the glass on the table. His voice got husky and low as he realised the sincerity of Mycroft's words.
"Mycroft. I stay put. By the way, let me make it clear. We are not a couple."
Mycroft's mouth twitched a bit. John glanced at this and continued stiffly.
"You know how utterly helpless and desperate I was before I met Sherlock. In a way, he saved me. I've never felt this alive and well."
"You are on a fast track to self-destruction, John. You need to protect yourself."
"I am deeply moved that you're having this dialogue with me."
John stood up and made an assuring smile.
"Don't worry about me. Friends protect each other, and I've got your brother at my side. I will be fine."
Mycroft smiled back rather weakly, but his smile didn't reach to his eyes.
"One more thing, John. Why did Moriarty let you go?"
"He got a call from a stranger, possibly a potential client. He said it was a wrong day to die…"
John's face turned darker as he remembered.
"He said Sherlock would hear from him later. So…"
"The stillness before a storm. We wait until he makes a move."
"I guess so."
Mycroft stood up and held out his hand to John. After a brief handshake, the older brother said.
"So what are you going to do?"
"I'll keep my blog. It seems more clients are knocking on the door after they read my blog. Also, I will see to it that Sherlock quit smoking."
"Good luck, John."
John laughed and said,
"Yes, I will need a hell of luck for that."
"The driver's waiting at the front door. Thanks for coming."
"As if I got a choice of not coming... Good bye, Mycroft."
"See you around."
John smirked at this and left the room. Mycroft's smile vanished instantly. Jim Moriarty was doing something sinister. The older Holmes had to find him before any harms being done to Sherlock and John. He called his assistant to pick him up to go back to the office.
Being the oldest of the family, I always sympathise with Mycroft Holmes:-) Thanks for reading.