"Why are we doing this?"
"Because he coloured the toilet cubicle doors and blamed me for it. That and because Miss Hudson is now banning me from getting any dessert during lunchtime—for one week!"
"But you don't know he blamed you. Miss Hudson simply punished you and that was it; she didn't mention any names."
"Yes, but I know it was him! I'm sure of it!"
"No you don't. Besides, he's your best friend, can't you just forgive him?" Gregory Lestrade scratched at the back of his head, his back slouched while he tried reasoning with his friend.
"N-no. He's not my best friend. Not anymore at least." There were tears in John's eyes by now, but he huffed heavily and bit down on his lip, his back straining as though trying to reason with himself that the betrayal of his best friend, Sherlock, was not at all affecting him.
"Don't listen to him John, I saw him! I saw Sherlock telling Miss Hudson that it was all your doing. I saw him walking into the teachers' lounge and telling her that you were the one who coloured the toilet doors. Miss Hudson even said that he was a good and honest boy for not defending his friends, and that what he did was right. I saw the whole thing with my very own eyes!" Exclaimed one Sebastian Moran, who was presently climbing up the slide of the dark blue navy playhouse, or in this case, play ship; one hand holding onto the flimsy folded, paper hat while the other at the sides of the metal slide, steadying himself while he climbed upwards.
"See! I told you it was him. Sherlock lied. Sherlock lied about it and he got me into trouble. So now, I'm going to get back at him." John sniffled a bit at that, his voice shaky and unsure.
"No, you can't! It must have been a misunder—"
"Yes! We need to! We need to come up with plans, get him in trouble. Maybe ban him from ever setting foot into the
playground again. We need… we need to… oh! We could write on the classroom drawing board and blame him for it. We could write that Miss Hudson is a mean old lady who will never get married!" Seb was gleaming at the brilliantness of his plan, wondering why he'd never thought of such wonderful ideas earlier. After all, Sherlock had always been too much of a prat to him, always nosing his way into his business, telling him to wipe the cookie crumbs off his shirt. He would pay dearly for this.
John was at the moment, sitting cross legged and staring at his feet, feeling a bit uneasy at the suggestion. Sure he had wanted to get back at Sherlock, but this sounded like it would get him into a lot of trouble. And he wasn't really sure if he wanted it to happen. Greg on the other hand was glancing back and forth between them both. He noticed the way John was sniffling and how he really seemed reluctant to get anyone at all into trouble; it was simply not his nature. He sneaked a peek at his other classmate (he wouldn't say friend, because they never actually talked much), with a rather malicious grin on his face, his eyes wild, reckless and raring for trouble. He definitely didn't like the look of that.
"I don't think this is a good idea." Greg started.
"Don't listen to him; he's a boring old goody two shoes." Seb stuck out his tongue at Greg. "Just cause Miss Hudson says you're in charge doesn't mean you have to always be Mr Stiff Pants even during play time."
"I-I'm not boring!" Greg almost tripped on his own foot standing up, his voice cracking as he raised it, earning him a snort from his classmate. "I just…"
"Why? Is it because you're scared?" Seb provoked testingly.
"N-no! I'm not scared." Greg stood with both hands on his hips, his eyes looking far into the distance as if they were already in one of their Navy Ship Battle Game routines.
Seb stood up to match the class monitor, one hand behind his back, the other stroking his rather non-existent beard while he circled the slightly shorter boy. "Good, in that case, we're going to do it. Right, John?"
John thought about it for awhile. He wanted to do it, he wanted Sherlock to pay for betraying his friendship and trust, but at the same time he didn't want the punishment to be that bad. So he asked, "Would Sherlock get into a lot of trouble?"
Yes, yes he will! He will get into loads and loads of trouble it would've been impossible for Miss Hudson not to call up his parents, Seb wanted to say. "Of course not! He'll just get a scolding, that's all." He said, thinking it was probably better to lie to the overly loyal blond boy.
Reluctantly, John said, "Okay. Let's do it then." He pushed himself up and joined the other two as the three stared into the distance.
"S-sherlock, why are they staring at us?" Molly Hooper was first to break the silence on their playhouse pirate ship.
"They're not staring at us; they're staring into the distance. Or so they think." Sherlock corrected as he laid on his back, his legs hanging by the ledge of the 'ship'.
"Why are they staring into the distance then?" Molly asked, a little smile on her face at the fact that her crush had actually bothered to reply her question
"How should I know? All of a sudden John just stops talking to me and now I'm stuck here with you. He was supposed to be part of my two man pirate crew."
Molly's previous smile faded at that. "Two man pirate crew." She whispered to herself, a little disheartened. Clearly, she wasn't at all welcomed on board the brown painted ship. After all, she wasn't John, and obviously, she wasn't a man. But then again, Sherlock wasn't a man either, he was a boy.
"Don't feel sad Molly, Sherlock's just joking. Aren't you Sherlock?" Jim patted the shy brunette on her back and gave what he thought was his most sincere smile. Despite that the dark curly haired boy couldn't help but still wonder how someone as annoying as Jim had managed to get on board his ship. His Ship! The one that belonged only to John and himself!
"No I wasn't." His tone was cutting.
"It's okay Jim. " Molly managed before folding her legs in and hugging her knees.
"Anyway, did you know what I found out? It looks like John has run away and started a crew of his own. He even took Gregory and Seb with him and now both of them call him Captain! Looks like he won't be joining your crew no more." Jim sing sang, his smirk barely showing.
"He can do what he wants." Despite that, Sherlock's voice had been quivering a bit at the betrayal of John. How could he do that? How could he just leave him to start his own crew? I thought we were friends…
"What are we going to do?" It came from Molly, whose eyes had widened in horror.
"Well I heard that he's going to write nasty things on the class drawing board and blame it on you. We can't just let him get away with this."
"No he won't. John's not like that." Sherlock sat up and glared at Jim, he half knew that this wasn't true at all, but at the same time it was undeniable that John had stopped talking to him since morning. And he's now on the Navy ship, the play house across him.
"We will see then." Jim turned, sat at the connecting area between slide and 'ship', and made his dramatic exit.
During reading time, Seb and John had sneaked out of the play/nap room and sneaked into the now empty classroom. Miss Hudson had left the children in the room for a few minutes to obtain the blankets from the store room. This gave the two boys some time to carry out their 'evil plan'.
In Sherlock's opinion, Miss Hudson wasn't exactly being a good teacher; which teacher left her students by themselves, unsupervised, anyway? But at the moment, that didn't matter. What did matter was that they—Sherlock and the still-rather-irritating-Jim—were secretly trailing John and Seb while they saw the two blond boys make their way into the classroom. Sherlock and Jim remained outside, two pairs of curious eyes peaking through the small crack left by the open door.
"Seb! I'm too short!" John whispered. His heart was racing and he had almost taken this as a chance to back out from the plan when Seb interrupted.
"Use the chair!" he quickly dragged the chair over and John clambered onto it.
With a black marker in one hand, and the other pressed flat onto the board for support, John reached forward and the tip of the marker touched the white surface.
"What are you waiting for?" Seb raised his voice slightly.
"Just write it! Quick! We're running out of time." Seb hurried him, secretly liking the thrill of it all. It was almost like they were on a mission.
John didn't have a choice; he started writing out the letters in block, repeating it as he did so. "M, I, S,S, H,U,D" and then he stopped. He didn't know how to spell any of the other letters.
So, he erased everything and drew a pirate instead. He drew him with wild curly hair and coloured it black. Then he drew a moustache and a beard and even a scar across the eyes, before drawing a big 'X' across the whole picture.
After which, they made their way back out and into the play room.
By that time, Sherlock and Jim had already reached there first, pretending as if nothing had happened. But, Jim noticed the way Sherlock had scowled after seeing the drawing, and he smiled to himself at that.
At six in the evening, the bell chimed. The children of Baker Street Child Care were released from their prison. While most children were immediately picked up by their parents or grandparents two little troublemakers laughed and giggled in the army green tent that layed in the backyard of the building.
"Did you see Sherlock's face? He was oh so sad." Jim said coolly, while he tried his best not to break out in sudden fits of laughter.
His friend on the other hand, was already rolling about in the tent and giggling at everything. He thought the plan went well, wonderfully well at that. This was indeed fun, Jim was right; being the bad guy was much more fun than being a good average boy.
They didn't have much time left; soon, Jim's parents would come and pick him up. Without sparing another moment, they sat down and got to work, minds churning out their next brilliant plan to completely destroy Sherlock and John's friendship forever.
The two brothers walked down the street further and further away from the child care institution, with Sherlock never once turning back to look. John's figure was slowly fading away as they walked in different directions, with John frequently turning back to glance at his friend. Sherlock knew of course; he knew from listening to the shuffling of feet and how they had stopped periodically, a few meters apart from each halt. He listened and listened, until he no longer could hear his light weighted footsteps anymore.
Mycroft walked alongside his younger brother. He saw that the boy was a stoic, calm figure. And yet, it was obvious, the hint of resentment that was flowing from beneath that false expression.
He grabbed Sherlock's hand. "What's wrong?" He asked in what he thought was the suitable older brother tone; he wasn't exactly very good at emotions himself too.
"Nothing." Sherlock replied, turning away from Mycroft.
Mycroft stayed quiet after that, but held his dear brother's hand tightly and they walked back to the mansion.
"That didn't go well." Seb was first to bring it up.
"What didn't?" John asked, having already forgotten that they were supposed to be getting Sherlock into trouble.
"Yesterday!" Seb threw his hands up in a mock display of frustration.
"Oh, Sorry." John looked down in shame.
"Can't we just apologise to Sherlock?" Greg filled with the sail of their 'ship' while John kept a look out for incoming pirates and enemies that might be sailing in their waters. Seb had said that it wasn't acceptable for any other ship except their own, to be sailing in these emerald blue waters. It simply wasn't how things worked. If anything, they would have to attack the enemy ship and sink them.
"Why would you need to apologise if he was the one who got you into trouble?" Seb meant it for John, but Greg didn't exactly want to fight with their curly dark haired friend anymore and he knew John didn't either.
"I just don't want to fight anymore. And John doesn't anyway, right?"
"Yeah, I just want to play with Sherlock again."John admitted a little embarrassed, afraid that the others might tease him for always being such a loyal follower to their mostly stuck up but none the less, brilliant classmate, Sherlock Holmes.
Greg looked around for a bit, and then admitted it himself. "Yeah, I want to play with Sherlock too. He promised I could be part of his crew."
This was of course a lie that only John knew.
Seb gave a snort and stood up, leaning far against the edge of the ship.
Suddenly his eyes squinted and he was leaning so far over the edge he had to hooked one foot under the ropes that decorated it's deck, to stop himself from toppling over and into the sea.
John and Greg joined him. John took the brass pocket spy glass from the coat pocket and peered into it.
"What is it? I can't see it!" It wasn't that Seb couldn't see, it was that he had a feeling what it was. A deep horrible gut feeling that the worst was about to happen. Far out into the distance, was a brick coloured ship looming into view. Its sides covered in mold and the eye of its mermaid figurehead, bejeweled.
Captain John of the Northumberland Ship perked up. This was good! They'd spotted Sherlock and now he could join his friend and sail beyond the seven seas, finding treasure as they went along.
"Sherlock!" John shouted into the distance.
"NO!" Seb tackled him into the ground.
They landed with a thud.
"What are you doing Seb!" Greg hooked the stronger boy by the armpits and tried his best to tug him off, to no avail.
"Keep quiet, or they'll hear you." Seb covered John's mouth with one hand. John frowned and muffled something along the lines of, "isn't that the point?"
"They'll hear you. And when they know you're here, they'll climb on board and they'll kill you. Rip you bit by bit, and throw you into the sea to feed their pet kraken. You can't trust Sherlock anymore John, he's gone now. He's gone and he's never coming back. He sold his soul to Davy Jones and now he's a part of the undead. You just can't trust him anymore!"
John struggled under the weight of the stronger blonde but stopped fighting after awhile. He supposed Seb was right. Sherlock had, after all, betrayed him. And now, he wasn't coming back anymore.
"What are we going to do then?" Greg questioned, sitting back on his heels, only to be abruptly tugged down onto the floor by Seb.
"We'll lie low. When they pass, keep still, keep quiet, and don't move at all. They'll think it's an abandoned ship and we'll slip by easy."
"It's Captain John's ship." Jim stated.
Sherlock fought back the urge to say, 'obviously', so instead he asked for his revolver.
"You're not going to attack him are you?" Molly was on her knees, scrubbing the molded floors of their ancient but still fast sailing pirate ship.
"Of course he is." Jim gave no chance for Sherlock to answer.
"But he's your friend." Molly replied.
"Was." Jim moved towards wheel where Sherlock was currently contemplating his options.
"So Captain Sherlock, what are you going to do?" Jim circled the boy.
Captain Sherlock was weighing his options, thinking about the possibilities. He wanted John back; he wanted to sail with him once more. But John had left him and now they could no longer sail to the Land of Beyond, just like they had promised (a few days back). As much as he wanted John to face the consequences of his betrayal, he didn't want to attack his ship.
So, after a sigh, he said, "We're not attacking. We'll let them pass. When we reach the port, we'll restock our supplies and rest for the night."
Jim pouted and turned to leave the quarterdeck. "Fine. Whatever you say, Captain."
By the time Sherlock and his crew had arrived at their destination, it was already nightfall. The stars were out and the waters glistened under the moonlight. Sherlock had somehow conned the owner of the nearby Inn and now two primal humans with the names, Donovan and Anderson, belonged to him.
Sherlock took great pride in his pirate abilities, that he was the smartest of the lot and a much more brilliant conman than the rest of his classm—I mean er, crew. He could easily fool them into joining his crew and once he did, he often abused his power, like all great pirates normally did.
"Argh! Stop squirting water at me!" Anderson whined.
"Wrong. It's a revolver. I'm trying to kill you." Sherlock corrected. "At least act the part or we'll throw you overboard."
Anderson rolled his eyes and started howling in pain. "Noooo, please, please, don't kill me!" Earning a laugh from Donovan who was scrubbing the floors along with Molly.
When it was well past midnight (and in real time, a quarter past six in the evening), Molly came up to her Captain who currently sat by himself on the quarterdeck. (The rest of the crew had gone home.)
Molly plopped herself down by Sherlock and sat cross legged. "I saw him. I saw how you looked when you saw him, and how you looked when he wasn't looking. He looked sad."
Sherlock said nothing, but instead hugged his knees closer to himself, trying to gain more warmth against the dawning cold.
"You look sad when you think he can't see you. Are you okay?" She asked.
Sherlock held back the tears that were starting to form in his eyes. He dare not look at Molly for fear that she would from then, look down at his Captain. After all, which pirate cried? None. No pirates cried, they struck terror into the hearts of unknowing citizens and they burned and looted and set places on fire, they were the root of orphaned children, miserable widows and hopeless citizens. They reigned with terror and fear, but never, ever cried.
He rested his forehead on his arms and managed a muffled, "I miss him."
Molly couldn't really hear what he said, but knew what she had to do. Just like her mom always did, when she was sad, she got up and patted Sherlock on the head, her hand running through his messy curls, shakily and somewhat unsure. Then when Sherlock didn't move away, she leaned down and kissed the top of his head before going down the slide and leaving to find her parents.
"John darling, why the long face?" Mrs Watson was walking her son and daughter home, each one by either sides of her.
"Is this about Sherlock? Jeez, you're such a baby. If Sherlock doesn't want to play with you anymore just deal with it." John's thirteen year old sister rolled her eyes, earning a glare from her mother.
"Don't speak that way to your younger brother. Treat him nicely." Mrs Watson reprimanded. Harriet Watson stuck out her tongue and tugged her hand from her mother's grip, running a few steps forward so that she would be in front of them both.
"Don't listen to your sister, she's just a meany."John's mother smiled endearingly and lightly squeezed her son's hand.
"Sherlock doesn't want to play with me anymore. He hasn't spoken to me in a few days." John finally said. "We were supposed to be best friends, but now he's got his own crew and they're going to loot treasure and leave me behind with Greg and Seb."
Mrs Watson raised her eyebrow in confusion. Loot Treasure? Surely he doesn't mean—oh it's a game. She laughed a little at the silliness of it all.
"Nooo, how could he!" She said in utter horror, with one hand covering her mouth in shock. "He just left you like that? Oh John darling, that's horrible!"
"Y-yes! Yes he did!" John sniffled against the cold air.
"Have you asked him the reason for his actions?"
"N-no. I haven't spoken to him at all." John looked up at his mother.
"Well, I think you should ask him. Tomorrow, ask him why he's been avoiding you. I'm sure there's got to be a good reason for all this. Maybe it's a misunderstanding even. I'm sure everything will go back to the way things were after you sort it out with him." Mrs Watson smiled, small and sincere.
"O-okay." John looked down at feet while they continued walking down the pavement. Then he added. "Are you sure?"
"Yes honey, I'm sure."
"You promise? Everything's going to be okay?"
Then the three made their way home for the day.
It's the fourth day of floating aimlessly in the waters. They were lost in the Bermuda triangle with no direction of where they were supposed to head towards. The sun was beating down on them and food was running low. Anderson had succumbed to scurvy, so they had to throw him overboard. (To be honest, Sherlock threw him overboard because Anderson kept whining and it was irritating.)
Now as the days seemed to stretch longer and longer, and they were almost at their wits end, Captain Sherlock had no choice but to decide if this would be their last moments before calling off the game.
"We're almost out of food." Donavon stated.
"I know." Sherlock replied.
"What are we going to do?" Molly asked. She seemed to always be asking questions nowadays. Sherlock supposed that was alright since John frequently asked him question anyway.
"We should climb down to get our water bottles. Just stop the game for awhile." Sherlock suggested. Reasonable suggestion but Jim didn't like that idea.
"No we can't. If we do, John would climb on board this ship and take charge." Jim lied.
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"I don't care." He really didn't. To be honest, all he really wanted to do now was walk over to John and ask him the reason for all this avoidance.
Jim seemed to have noticed this so he stood in front of the slide. "You're not going anywhere." He threatened, startling Sherlock.
The curly haired boy inched closer and stared straight into Jim's eyes, ocean blue ones meeting hazel brown ones. "Jim, move." He breathed.
Instinctively, Jim flinched but otherwise stood his ground. "No." he managed.
"Move. Now." Sherlock commanded.
"I said no." He dared again.
There were moments of dangerous silence between both boys. Molly stayed where she was, then slowly backed up inch by inch from fear that a fight would start. Sherlock's brows knitted and so did Jim's. But they remained where they were.
Time passed silently save for the sound of their breathing while both boys squared off for a fight. Neither moved more than an inch, fingers unconsciously flexing and then relaxing; until Jim smirked and as though everything clicked into place, Sherlock seemed to understand everything that had happened so far. The sudden friendliness of Jim, the way Jim had purposely pulled John away from him and got Seb to join forces with him so that they were now pitted against each other. It was all a ploy! It was a ploy to destroy their friendship!
"Took you a while didn't it?" Was all Jim could manage before he was tackled down the slide, by Sherlock. Thank god it wasn't a horribly tall slide, who knew what injuries both boys would have obtained from tumbling down the metal slide.
Jim's back slammed into the earth beneath and Sherlock grabbed him by the shoulders, pressing him into the ground again. They rolled around a bit, a tangle of limbs, before Jim shouted for Seb.
Immediately, Sebastian slid down the slide of John's navy ship and being one of the strongest boys in class, easily grabbed Sherlock off his friend.
"What's going on?" John asked, making his way down while he saw his friend, his best friend being tackled into the ground.
"Hey! Get off him!" John ran into the hurdle of boys and pushed Seb off, leaving Sherlock free and once again pulling at Jim.
By now, Greg had arrived and with the combined weight of John and himself, subdued Seb by sitting on top of him. "Go Sherlock! Kick butt!" He yelled while Seb struggled to get up.
"Sherlock! Look out!" John exclaimed worriedly.
"Donovan! Grab the water gun and shoot him!" Sherlock instructed as Donavon scrambled to find the gun.
Both Jim and Sherlock wrestled with each other, pushing, pulling, fighting, tugging and rolling around, looking comical and worn out. Jim tugged at Sherlock's curls roughly and Sherlock stepped on Jim's foot, earning a yelp from the 'enemy'. Unconsciously, both boys inched closer and closer to Miss Hudson's make shift inflatable pool and Molly was just about to yell out 'look out!' when they tripped on each other's foot and fell straight into the pool of water.
"Sherlock!" John cried out as he rushed to his friend's side. The two of them were still struggling by then but John pulled Sherlock out to break up the fight.
Greg quickly got up releasing Seb from where he was pressed face first into the soil. He ran into the building to grab blankets.
"Jim!" Seb bolted to his friend, patting him on the back, hoping to bring some comfort.
Miss Hudson appeared right then, along with Greg whose hands were full of blankets.
"Oh Boys! What happened?" She knelt down and wrapped blankets around each boy, even around John and Seb who were obviously dry. "Sherlock, the mess you've made!"
Sherlock supposed she was referring to her 'Reichenbach pool display' in which he and Jim conveniently fell into. Now she would have to start all over again, needing to cover the edge with cliffs and decorate the sides with origami birds and animals.
She shook her head in dismay and brought them all inside for some hot chocolate, giving each one of them a clean set of clothes.
"Why have I got this blanket—she keeps putting this blanket around me" Sherlock asked both Greg and John.
"It's to keep you dry." John replied.
"I am dry."
"I heard from my dad that after people got into accidents, the nurses put these blankets around the victims. They're called shock blankets. It's for shock. " Greg proudly said. His dad was a police officer, so had an inkling about the details of his job.
"But I'm not in shock."
Greg shrugged his shoulders and cocked his head to the side and John simply giggled.
When evening time came, Jim and Seb's parents came to pick their boys up, in which Miss Hudson properly commented on the utter disappointment she had in them. The Reichenbach display was important to her and she wanted to show the students what the Reichenbach falls were like in Germany. Now she would need to start all over again, molding the clay into cliffs.
The rest of the student had gone home, but John and Sherlock's parent and brother, respectively, were still nowhere in sight. Sherlock supposed Miss Hudson would inform his brother and John's mother of the earlier fight that broke out, but for now, he was just glad he John and were friends again.
"So it was all Jim's doing?"John was sitting by the floor, back leaning against the classroom cupboard.
"Yes. It was all a ploy to get us to fight each other." Sherlock was by John's side, back against the cupboard too.
"I don't know. But I have a feeling this isn't the last of it. And one day I'll find out the reason for his actions."
John sighed and smiled. "Okay."
They sat in silence for awhile. And then John asked. "Does that mean we can play together again tomorrow?"
"Yes we can, John."
"Are we still playing pirates?"
"Hmm. I'm bored of pirates. Let's play detective. I'll be the detective, since I'm smarter." Sherlock announced, not one bit bashful at his own comment.
John laughed. "Okay! Then what will I be?"
The curly haired boy thought for awhile. "You can be an ex-army doctor. Recently shot and now sent back from Afghanistan! Gregory can be a police officer, like his father."
"What about Molly? Maybe she can be a nurse." John suggested.
"No, not a nurse. She'll be the morgue attendant. So that she would be involved with dead people which is far more interesting than simply being a nurse. And together we can all solve crimes."
"And fight evil?"
"Yes. And fight evil. " Sherlock agreed.
Both boys locked eyes with each other momentarily, before breaking out into a fit of laughter and giggles.