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Fic for madame_fifi: What Is To Come

Mod Note: A very happy early birthday to madame_fifi! May you find a Sherlock Holmes of your very own under your tree - all wrapped in tinsel and fairy lights.

Title: What Is to Come
Author: humantales
Recipient: madame_fifi
Characters/Pairings: Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Betas: Thanks to [redacted] and [redacted] for their betaing and encouragement.
Summary: Their first meeting was clearly a sign of what was to come. Written for madame_fifi for the 2010 holmestice.

They wouldn't allow the car beyond the tape, and the policeman securing the crime scene wouldn't let Mycroft through. Fortunately, he noticed DI Lestrade talking with DS Donovan nearby. "Is Sherlock all right?" Mycroft called, as much to announce his presence to Lestrade as to ask for information. After all, the message had stated that Sherlock wasn't badly injured, "just sliced up a bit."

Lestrade walked over to Mycroft. "You can let him through," he told the officer, holding up the crime scene tape. "You didn't need to run down here," he said as Mycroft ducked under the tape. "He may not even go to hospital; they're still arguing about it."

"With whom is he arguing?" Mycroft asked, suspecting that he knew the answer.

"John," Lestrade answered with a grin. "The paramedics have been staying out of it."

Mycroft allowed himself to relax. If John was arguing instead of insisting, Sherlock would be fine. "He's over at the ambulance?" Since Lestrade was walking to the ambulance with him, Mycroft asked something that had begun to bother him. "Sherlock seems to be growing more reckless, don't you think?" he asked.

To his surprise, Lestrade shook his head. "Nah, he's just getting more involved. Used to be, he'd figure out who we needed to arrest and send us after them. These days, he's as like to go after them himself. If we can just convince him to call for backup first, he wouldn't keep getting banged up this way. How's our boy, John?" he asked as they approached the ambulance.

Sherlock and John both scowled, although Mycroft knew it was for different reasons. "The slice isn't bad; it should have stitches, but I can take care of it at home. He got banged up pretty hard against the building, though; I want that arm X-rayed."

"It isn't broken," Sherlock insisted. "Just scraped by the brick." He was holding his left arm close to his body and was ensuring that no one else could get near it, not even John. If it wouldn't make Sherlock even more determined not to have the X-rays, Mycroft would have pointed out that his protecting the arm made it more likely that it was broken. Under the circumstances, it was best that he didn't say anything.

"Those were good moves," Lestrade said grinning. "We could see them as we arrived to back you up."

"They should be," Mycroft said. "After all those lessons, anything less would be horrifying."

"Lessons?" Lestrade asked. John shook his head and Sherlock smirked.

"Too bad those lessons didn't include being sensible," John said, managing to grab Sherlock's left arm away from his body.

Sherlock winced and muffled most of a cry. Mycroft kept his wince off of his own face; even as a child Sherlock had never been one to complain of injuries. "You didn't say I needed lessons in being sensible," Sherlock whined at John, "just in being able to defend myself."

Mycroft saw that the apparent non sequitur threw both Lestrade and John as well as him. "Those lessons were your eleventh birthday present," he said, watching Sherlock closely. It didn't appear as though he was under the influence of pain killers, but his expression clearly indicated that he hadn't meant to let that slip. But what had slipped?

"I didn't know you two'd known each other that long?" Lestrade said, glancing between the two of them. He looked mildly surprised.

"We didn't," John said sharply. "Sherlock, did you hit your head?" He rummaged around the ambulance for a moment and then grabbed a torch, shining the light into Sherlock's eyes.

Sherlock jerked away. "I didn't say we knew each other," he said, sounding irritable.

"Then how--?" Lestrade asked.

Sherlock looked at the three of them and looked annoyed as he seemed to decide that he was going to have to explain. "It was a school trip to the British Museum," he said. "John was on a school trip as well, as was a young woman with long brown hair and ridiculously long earrings." His voice was distant as he continued. "She was kinder than she looked."

John looked puzzled for a moment. "Katie Hamilton?" he asked. "She was the first girl I . . . She let me hold her hand the first time . . . That was you?" He was staring, not at Sherlock, but into the distance.

Sherlock looked down; Mycroft thought he might have been blushing. "You pulled several boys off of me; they were trying to teach me what they considered more appropriate behaviour. Your attitude was that of someone who had done the same thing before and would do so again." He smiled as he said, "You were taller than all of us . . ." All of them chuckled at that; John was the shortest of the four men. "And you were trying to grow a moustache. Dreadful thing; you weren't quite capable of it." His smile was distant, but Mycroft noted it looked happy. "The girl wanted me to have my nose looked after, but you seemed to understand me and had her back off. As you left, you put your hand on my shoulder and said, 'If you're not going to keep that smart mouth of yours shut, you'd better learn to defend yourself, or you'll never stop getting beat up. Then the girl gave me her scarf and you her hand and you left."

John looked as if he'd been punched. "That was you?" he repeated, his gaze still distant. Then he seemed to remember because he looked at Sherlock. "That was you," he said, sounding more certain. "Sorry, I wouldn't have recognised you; all I remember was hair and eyes."

Mycroft chuckled slightly. At ten, Sherlock had been all hair and eyes . . . and mouth.

"You were fifteen," Sherlock said. "Oh, all right, if I must," he snapped at the paramedic. "I don't need to lie down, though; I'm fine." Then he turned back to John. "A fifteen-year-old looks much more like the man he'll become than a ten-year-old. And, as I said, your attitude demonstrated that I wasn't the first child you'd rescued from bullies and I wouldn't be the last. It meant much more to me; you were the first person who wasn't a family member or paid to look after me who had given a damn."

"Not that often," John said. Mycroft didn't think anyone believed him; he certainly didn't. "I do remember that day, though. I'd been trying to get Katie's attention for weeks; pulling those other boys off of you got it for me."

"Always showing off for the ladies," Sherlock said, his voice rich with amusement.

John shrugged and smiled. "She was the one girl I didn't get into trouble for showing off to. God, I haven't thought about her in years."

"Do you know what happened to her?" Sherlock asked. Mycroft was surprised to hear the wistfulness in his brother's voice.

"Married and divorced, two kids," John said. "She's a teacher, specialises in Special Education Needs children. She's still sweet." He smiled. "So, you went and took my advice?"

"It was logical," Sherlock said, sounding defensive. "My father was pleased that I was finally taking interest in what he considered manly things and signed me up for boxing lessons. Once I was making progress, I started researching other methods. That piece of advice has served me well."

"Got that right," Lestrade said, shaking his head. "Tiny, bloody world."

John smiled. "Small world indeed." He leaned over and spoke to the paramedic. "All right, I know you don't need it, but lie down anyway, so they can strap you in. I'll ride with you so I can talk with your doctors. Mycroft, we'll be going to St Bart's. You don't need to come—at worst it's a simple fracture—but I'll give them your name."

"I'll be there shortly," Mycroft said, amused at Sherlock's impatient huff. He watched the ambulance drive away.

Then something rather shocking occurred to him. He must have made some kind of noise because Lestrade asked, "Is something wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," Mycroft said. Before he could get too distracted, he turned to Lestrade. "I'd best get to the hospital and give John my support. Have a nice evening."

He returned to his car and told the driver to take him to St Bart's. He remembered Sherlock asking his father for lessons in fighting; Mummy had been horrified, but his father had been pleased and Mycroft had agreed that they would be useful. Since they were in different schools, it was difficult for Mycroft to stop boys from hurting his little brother; giving him the ability to protect himself had been all to the good.

He hadn't realised before that the idea had been planted by a boy who had stopped a beating, and that it had been John Watson of all people just demonstrated how small the world actually was. A new worry crossed his mind; he would need to investigate it.

Sherlock had helped Mrs Hudson with her now-late husband years ago. Shortly after returning to London, she'd told Sherlock that he was more than welcome to rent from her and had given him a good deal on the rent. At the time, Sherlock had been living in one horrible hole after another, still on drugs; it was months later that Lestrade convinced him to stop using.

Mycroft had known about the offer, of course, and had encouraged Sherlock to take it then. It was a nice flat, in a reasonable location, and Mycroft knew that he could persuade Mrs Hudson to ignore most of Sherlock's irregularities. Sherlock had refused and continued to move from one awful place to another.

When had Sherlock discovered who his childhood protector was? Had he only realised it when their mutual friend had suggested they share the flat? Or had Sherlock somehow found out his protector's name before? Had he waited until he knew John was returning, or that John was living in London, before he took the flat on Baker Street? Had John's influence been that strong, that early?

Mycroft hadn't set up that confluence of events. Had someone else? And, if so, had they done it for Sherlock's good or not? Mycroft nodded his head decisively. It could wait until the morning; he’d had John Watson checked out thoroughly as soon as he'd agreed to share the flat with Sherlock. Still, first thing in the morning, he would look into that incident, when Sherlock had begun to investigate John and if anyone else were pulling the strings. That decided, he let himself relax. If someone had set both men up to hurt Sherlock, they'd made a serious mistake. Their first meeting was clearly a sign of what was to come.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Very nice! And I like that this ties the boxing bit of canon into their relationship.
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I tend to think of Holmes as something of a martial arts expert.

Thanks for reviewing!
Dec. 21st, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you!

A lovely early birthday to me =)

This was wonderful to read and I love how we get Mycroft's perspective through out as well. I also agree with the above comment, I really like how you worked in the cannon of boxing into this story.

And John really would be the sort of bloke to stop some bullies.

Thank you for taking my mish-mash of a request/blurb/indesisive mess and writing such a lovely story.

Happy Christmas!
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

As soon as I saw your prompt about Sherlock and John meeting as children, I knew what I wanted to write. It was fun trying to work out the details (the girlfriend, where they met, etc) and Mycroft's perspective. (I don't usually "see" through his eyes.)

Thanks so much for your review; I enjoyed writing your story.
Jan. 2nd, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm glad my mish-mash of a prompt wasn't too hard to inspire your wonderful creativity.
(Pretty sure I was on my fith very large mug of tea when I wrote it).
Dec. 23rd, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Nice bit of backstory, there. :)
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Dec. 30th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
Lovely fic, well written and a moving little piece of backstory. One keeps wondering, though, if there *was* more behind it.. :-)
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
The original prompt mentioned how happy Sherlock was when John agreed to share the flat with him; it's at least as strong in the ACD canon A Study in Scarlet. So, I started thinking on why that might be.

Thanks for your review!
Dec. 30th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Mycroft hadn't set up that confluence of events. Had someone else? And, if so, had they done it for Sherlock's good or not?

Ohhhhh, now that is an intriguing thought! Love the back story, but the idea that John and Sherlock's (second) meeting was set up, and not by Mycroft, just fills me with glee.
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
After reading the prompt, with its mention of how happy Sherlock is for John to move in, I started thinking about how easy it would have been for Sherlock to set things up if he knew who the boy had been and was able to track his current whereabouts down.

Thanks for reviewing!
Dec. 30th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! Really simply truly and amazingly fantastic! I really love this idea of Fate or Predestination that really may be all too human in the end. I'm completely intrigued by the idea that it could have even been Sherlock himself. Great job!
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
The prompt mentioned how happy Holmes was for Watson to move in in the original stories; I got to thinking on why that might be, and how Sherlock would definitely be able to do some tracing as an adult.

Thanks for reviewing!
Jan. 1st, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh, this is nice. I like stories where John and Sherlock met in childhood and remember it later. And this has an intriguing mystery about it, a what-happens-next feeling that'll keep me thinking. Lovely!
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I've read a couple of other stories with John and Sherlock meeting in childhood and enjoy them as well.

And now that I've been replying to my reviews, I've got a plot bunny nibbling at my feet. :-) Hmmm.

Thanks for reviewing.
Mar. 1st, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh! I really liked this! I wish there were more. VERY enjoyable!
Mar. 8th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. (No promises, but the idea isn't going away.)
Jul. 8th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
This is a really nice background story... I can't help wanting more.
I love the interactions between John and Sherlock, and Mycroft POV.
Thanks for sharing.
Jul. 18th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Dec. 17th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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