Chapter 1 - The Opening Games

Okay, this is my first effort at the Sherlock-Watson, Johnlock ficdom and I'm not sure how I'll do. Do review with your comments and suggestions. But please be kind.

Hope you like the chapter. Updates depending on reader/reviewer response. Cheers!

A little story of how I wanted to see things happen after Sherlock fakes his death and leaves 221B Baker Street to go after Moriarty. Why does no-one ever remember that Doctor John Watson was once Captain John Watson?

"Welcome Doctor Watson. How can I help you today?"

"Mycroft. I'm not interested in word games today. So let me get right down to it."

Mycroft Holmes raised a brow at the voice of command issued from this quiet little doctor. He could well guess why he was here, 3 weeks after the event, but he was no less curious about what he was going to hear. The good doctor had never ceased to surprise either of the Holmes brothers. His quiet dependability and loyalty, even in the face of Mycroft's 'interventions' was the reason why he was trusted with Sherlock's well-being and indeed his sanity.

"Very well. Do sit down, John." Mycroft waited for John to sit at the desk before taking his place behind it, watching his unexpected guest carefully. There was something in his eyes. He didn't have to wait long to learn the reason for the visit.

"I'll start with the rhetorical questions. Please answer in yes or no honestly. Will you do that?"

Another raised brow was the reply, but John could see that the elder Holmes brother was giving him his attention. Time to get the ball rolling.

"Have I ever given you cause not to trust me since you first abducted me?" If Mycroft was surprised by the question or knew where it led, he didn't show it. He gave only a quiet response. "No."

"Have I ever been remiss in taking care of your brother?" "No."

"Have I ever, at any point of time, not helped your brother with what ever he wanted, no matter the time of day?" "No."

"Have I ever given you cause not to trust me when it comes to your brother?" "No."

"Have I been a friend to your brother?" "Yes."

Here John's gaze sharpened on the man before him. "Good. Now riddle me this, Mycroft. Is Sherlock alive?"

Mycroft's eyes widened imperceptibly; the only indication that he'd not been expecting so direct a question. He hesitated.

"Come now, Mycroft, surely you know he's alive. Unless he hasn't told you too."

"What makes you think he's alive, Doctor?"

John grinned wolfishly and Mycroft mentally gulped. "Because Sherlock Holmes is not in his grave." He leaned across the table. "So tell me Mycroft, where is he hiding this time?" Shifting back into his seat John continued, not giving the stunned man across him time to speak. "You either know that he's not dead, or you don't know where he is. I find the latter more probable since its you after all. So I'll ask you again. Do you know where Sherlock is?"

"Perhaps." He wasn't about to tell the doctor everything after all. Not until he knew where this was going.

"Does he plan to come back at all?" "… Yes."

"Do you know when he'll be back?" "No."

"So, where is he then?" asks John with a smile.

"You know I can't tell you that, John."

The doctor waved a dismissive hand. "Yeah, yeah, Sherlock made you promise not to tell me so I wouldn't follow him and he could feel he's doing whatever he's doing to keep me safe. Well, others as well," he reflected after a pause.

"If you wouldn't mind me asking, how do you know so much? How are you sure that Sherlock's alive and not here?"

"He's your brother Mycroft, but he's also my friend. And I'd like to think that I know him well enough to know that this self-sacrificing lark is the sort of thing he would do if he feels his friends are in danger and by playing 'knight in shining armor' he can save them. I've spent enough time with your brother to know that he has a heart and he does care. Only not in ways most people would expect."

Mycroft read the fond look in the doctor's eyes and the affection in his voice and knew the quiet little man was right. "What would you do if I told you where he is?"

The response came without a second's hesitation. "Go to him and help him."

"He will not appreciate it."

"That's my problem," came the smiling reply.

Leaning back into this chair Mycroft asked one more question. "What can you do?"

John smirked. Retrieving his phone from an inner jacket pocket, he flicked across the screen a few times then handed it to Mycroft. "Access my file with that code."

Now Mycroft is interested. Not that it shows on his face. "We have already seen your file, Doctor Watson."

John smiled, teeth glinting. "Humour me, Mycroft."

The British Government took the bait and accessed the Ministry of Defence databases looking for the secure files of one Doctor John Hamish Watson, invalided RAMC Army doctor and GP from Afghanistan. A few buttons pressed later, he was looking at the file. Decorated officer, invalided and let go, diagnosed with PTSD and advised therapy. What else was there? Glancing at the now humming doctor, he entered the access code he had been given and stared at the screen in stunned shock.


How had they missed this in the background checks on this man?

"Found what you're looking for then?" chuckled John. But when Mycroft turned back to face him, the soldier's eyes were dark blue, flat and forbidding. Chips of a glacier, strong and solid, moving with an indelible grace, but with the power to crush anything in its path. "Now, will you tell me what I want to know? It would be much less trouble than having to follow his trail from scratch." John checked the shine of his fingernails, tone nonchalant.

Mycroft was finding it difficult to reconcile the image of the peaceful, smiling, utterly bland and absolutely dull Doctor Watson with the information on his file. Sitting before him now was an ex-SRR ghost, a soldier from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, a top secret unit of the British Army Special Forces. The SRR men were highly trained lethal soldiers, capable of operating under pressure for the many months of undercover intelligence and infiltration work they were trusted with. They were feared and respected among the military and intelligence agencies with due cause. More astounding than that in his service record was the unique name 'TC'. The man was more than a ghost, leading his team into hostile engagements and returning with a successful mission under his belt every time.

"But you disappeared 3 years ago!" exclaimed Mycroft, showing blatant emotion for the first time.

"I had just returned to the RAMC and got shot while tending to a fellow officer. The rest is history." He paused and continued, "Now that you know who I am, I have a gift for you."

"What would that be?"

John smiled humorlessly. "There will be three men waiting to speak with you right about now. If you will bring them in and show them to Sherlock's safe room, I will tell you a secret."

Resigned, Mycroft signaled Anthea to admit the men and show them to the white padded room he's had built specially for those days that his brother needed to be stopped from harming himself. He showed no surprise that John knew about it.

Turning back to his visitor he saw that John was already in his feet. The same man in his dull green jumper and khaki pants, buttoned collar and scuffed brown shoes. Was it even possible? He pinched the bride of his nose to stave off an impending headache. "Shall we, Doctor?"

"Leading the way, Mycroft strode towards a personal suite of rooms he used when he had to stay over on account of work. At the door of Sherlock's safe room they stopped and John pushed ahead to greet two men who were obviously identical twins. They had lithe frames, wiry and no doubt spring strung. Short cropped hair pointed to their obvious status as soldiers. They were possibly old friends of the doctors'. John must have picked them specialy for the visit today. Sighing, he stepped forward when John turned to introduce him.

"Ben, Tiny, Mycroft Holmes." Holmes noticed that John hadnt pointed either twin out specifially.

"Pleasure, Mr. Holmes," said one of the twins in a deep rumbling bass, the other just nodding.

"Where's is the third man, Doctor?"

John gestured to the safe room. Puzzled, Mycroft stepped up to the one-way, reinforced, highly compressed viewing glass panel to look inside. Not a moment later, shock threw his body back from the entrance to the room and he stared blankly at the viewing panel. He almost missed John's laughing comment.

"Well, Mycroft, I present to you, Colonel Sebastian Moran."