”Why are we doing this again?” Anderson asked, looking as uncomfortable as someone used to covering blue overalls, standing in the training room barefooted and in t-shirt and sweatpants.
“Because you asked me to,” Donovan said, arching an eyebrow. She was stretching, warming up, her hair tied back in a bun. “And it's good for you to get some exercise. Your neck wouldn't ache nearly as much as.”
“Couldn't I just,” Anderson looked around pathetically, “go for a walk or something? I've never been into sports that much. Especially the ones where people hit each other on purpose.”
Donovan gave him a look, and then walked over to the area covered with the flat mattress, beckoning Anderson to follow her.
Anderson stayed put.
“I'm not above coming to get you,” she said.
“Try me,” Donovan drawled, bunching her hands into fists. Reluctantly Anderson stepped on the mattress.
“I'm not going to hurt you, you know.”
“That's what you said about the haircut,” he muttered darkly.
“What do people do with the tips of their ears anyway?”
“I liked the symmetry!”
Donovan snorted, getting into a starting position. “Let's get this sparring started already. Prepare yourself.”
Anderson lifted his fists, reluctantly. Despite everything, he had to admit that she looked good in a singlet.
It wasn't often that Sebastian saw Jim Moriarty at work.
Oh, he saw Jim planning, often, and he'd followed Jim on business meetings, and even been there the one time Jim had actually killed someone by himself.
But it wasn't often that Sebastian could see Jim in action. Fitting in with the normals, smiling a goofy smile, playing a role, being someone harmless. It was fascinating.
The woman was quite pretty, even if her smile at occasions hinted on desperation, and she was eyeing Jim like he was a piece of meat and she'd just finished lent. It wasn't a perfect view, across the street, but Sebastian guessed they were discussing on which restaurant to go into.
He really should be letting Jim work on whatever malicious plan he had cooking in peace.
He really should.
Sebastian crossed the street, in a leisure stroll, raising his hand in a wave. “Oi!”
The woman looked startled, and Jim looked... well, blank, flat-eyed, for that brief moment, before he smiled.
“Sebastian! How good to see you!” he crooned, leaning towards his new ladyfriend. “Molly, this is my friend Sebastian. Sebastian, this is Molly.”
“Molly. He won't shut up about you,” Sebastian looked at her, raised an eyebrow and smiled. She blushed.
“He's quite smitten, our Jimmy,” Sebastian drawled. Jim was smiling, but he wasn't fooled.
Behind those glinting dark eyes, Jim was murderous. Molly giggled.
“We were just about to go grab a bite,” she said, “I mean, I wouldn't mind if you-”
Fun was fun, but Sebastian didn't have a death-wish. “I'm afraid I can't stay,” he said, smoothly. “Work, you know. I just wanted to pop by and say hullo. Lovely to meet you, Molly.”
Silly cow. A pawn, at best, if Sebastian was to judge, reeking of desperation and blind to the obvious. Not Jim's type, not for anything except as a plaything. Still, he bared his teeth in a smile. She didn't get it, but Jim would.
“I'll see you later,” Jim said softly, his eyes fixed on Sebastian.
“Yes, I hope we'll meet again,” Molly said breathlessly. Sebastian waved once, still smiling, and then turned, prowling off. He could feel Jim's eyes still on him as he walked away, the silly woman's hesitant laughter ringing in the air.
It was either good or bad, now, waiting for him when Jim got back. Perhaps both at the same time.
The hallway of the school was littered with mediococre drawings. Mycroft, seventeen and already vaguely plump, gave them a sneering look as he walked past on his way to the right classroom.
It wasn't that it was his job to come when the school called, but with their father gone and their mother forever suffering from her dark days, it fell on Mycroft to look after their brother. The school had agreed not to make a fuss after he'd exchanged a few careful words with the headmaster.
Sherlock was waiting, sitting on his assigned seat, staring at his desk. The teacher, a middle-aged woman who in Mycroft's books was not even close to qualified to teach his brother took one look at him and assumed she could talk down on him. They always did.
“Are you Mycroft Holmes?” she sniffed. Mycroft nodded in agreement, absentmindedly, walking over to Sherlock. His brother wasn't upset, he could see that. He was confused. That was always the better option.
“Your brother,” the teacher started, “is constantly disrupting my class to-”
“What happened?” Mycroft asked calmly, but from Sherlock.
“I left the classroom,” Sherlock said calmly.
“I needed to use the washroom and find out about drywood termites.”
“He's-” the teacher started sharply.
“Shut up, Mycroft said. “Why termites?”
“I needed to know if they were a problem in pirate ships,” Sherlock said matter-of-factly.
Mycroft sighed, ignoring the teacher huffing and puffing behind him. Although a lot of kids had grandiose dreams, not many took those dreams as much into their hearts as Sherlock did. Most children would have been content with a hobby, but when Sherlock decided something, it- became his life. And while Mycroft understood the single-minded obsession all too well, he wished Sherlock'd picked something less... silly.
“You cannot leave the classroom without permission,” he said calmly. “You'll be breaking the rules.”
“Pirates don't care about rules,” Sherlock said rebelliously, brushing the curly black hair off his face.
Most troublesome, indeed.
“You're not a pirate yet, and if you keep this up, they won't let you in the pirate school.”
Sherlock looked a little shocked. “Surely breaking the rules is a good thing for- “
“Only the best students get to go to pirate school,” Mycroft interrupted curtly. “All you have to do is sit still in you classes. Do you understand?”
“I guess so,” Sherlock looked a little troubled. “So blowing the teacher down would be a bit-”
“A bit not good, yes,” Mycroft said. Sherlock had been learning the pirate jargon but he just didn't get it right.
“I see,” Sherlock said gloomily.
“Actually, I would really like to discuss about his grades-” the teacher started, valiantly.
“I'm sure you would, Miss,” Mycroft said smoothly, “but unfortunately I'm in a bit of a hurry. I only came to pick up Sherlock. We'll talk some other time.”
“Come along, Sherlock,” he said peacefully. His brother slid away from his desk, head bowed, padding after Mycroft.
“I know it's difficult,” Mycroft said mildly, “but if it helps, I got you an eyepatch.”
He watched his brother perk up, colourless blue eyes shining (one of which would soon be covered by cheap plastic eyepatch) as they walked down the hallway. It might have been the stupidest plan for a future he'd ever heard, but no one could say Mycroft wasn't supportive.