“Could you just… OK. New rules,” Wilson said, obviously flustered.
Sitting with his knees pulled up to his chest as he ate a bowl of cereal, Sherlock smirked as he watched him. The man was fussy and very set in his ways, yet far too nice to actually complain about the various ways Sherlock had tried to test his limits. Even with the obvious complaint he was working himself up to, he couldn’t quite seem to bring himself to full on rudeness.
Instead he just help up a finger, taking calming breaths to keep hi cool, before saying, “Look, I know you’re House’s kid and I’m happy to have you here. Really, I am. You’re a great guy.”
“But if you’re going to insist on eating in the living room could you please use a placemat?”
“But it’s on my lap,” he pointed out.
And for a moment it looked as though Wilson was going to lose his cool. He was going to yell and call House and tell him that the detective couldn’t stay with him any longer because after nearly a month, he had driven the man suitably out of his mind. But, much like John, Wilson simply shook his head as he held up his hands in defeat.
“I give up. You know, forget it. Just…”
Sherlock looked at him expectantly, curious about what it was that made Wilson stop in the middle of his amusing rant. Following his eyes toward the window, he noted Wilson’s paler complexion and figured that it was best he stayed where he was.
“Don’t worry. I’m expecting him,” Sherlock pointed out, hoping to calm Wilson down.
Whether or not it worked, Wilson nodded and waited until the much anticipated knock at the door came. Taking a few breaths, he seemed to be preparing himself for the inevitable before opening the door and smiling politely at the person on the other side as he let them in.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you on… better terms, Dr. Wilson,” Mycroft said, holding out his hand.
Shaking his hand, Wilson nodded over to the couch. “Yes. You must be Mycroft.”
“Mycroft, do stop with your incessant need to be nice. He doesn’t actually care,” Sherlock pointed out. Placing his bowl on the table, he sprawled on the couch and stared down his brother.
He couldn’t exactly say what it was that brought his brother back to the states, since there was no way he could’ve been around all this time. No, Mycroft was constantly needed elsewhere and from what little he actually paid attention to when it came to the news Wilson watched religiously in the morning while got ready, there was nothing that would interest Mycroft. Well, nothing except for him, and that was rarely a good thing.
“Sherlock, I need to speak with you. Perhaps you could get dressed and come outside with me?”
“Or what? Going to have your men take me away again? I hardly see the point. Anything you need to say can be said to me as I am,” he said, gesturing to his t-shirt and flannel pants.
It was well worth the look of absolute disgust Mycroft gave him. Certainly the man would’ve rathered he was threatening to go naked instead of in the ratty clothes he slept in. Even Wilson seemed a bit dismayed at the idea.
“Sherlock, this isn’t a game. Get dressed and come on.”
“He’s going to get dressed,” Wilson assured Mycroft, mostly to make himself feel better. “He has to. He wouldn’t actually go out in that.”
Scoffing, Mycroft turned to Wilson and stared him down. “He very nearly wandered Buckingham Palace in the nude.”
“You stepped on my sheet,” Sherlock said pointedly. After all, it wasn’t as though he had done it on purpose. There were extenuating circumstances.
Holding up his hand, Wilson shook his head and said, “I’m getting him clothes. I refuse to let you leave here looking like that or worse.”
It was enough to make Sherlock smirk when Mycroft merely arched a brow at him. After all, the man was right. Wilson was a bit like John and that did tend to make it a great deal easier when it came to staying with him. After all, John may not have had the same pet peeves like Wilson and his weird need for coasters or placing the milk in a particular part of the fridge, but he was certain that given the chance to meet each other, the men would swap idiosyncrasies as well as stories about their own personal maniacs.
Walking back into the room, Wilson placed the shirt and slacks on the edge of the couch before looking at Mycroft. “Making sure he wears that.”
“This isn’t my shirt,” Sherlock said as he held it up.
Glancing over his shoulder at him, Wilson rolled his eyes. “Your shirts are too small for you. That one should actually fit.”
“Oh, Sherlock, I think I may like him better than John. Certainly our good doctor doesn’t correct the mistakes you call your wardrobe,” Mycroft teased.
“Get me my shirt,” he all but demanded as he held up the offensive thing that Wilson tried to convince him to wear.
“What? No. Look, that you can have your shirt back at the end of the day. I have to get to work.”
“Wilson, give me my shirt.”
“It was nice meeting you, Mycroft,” Wilson said, completely ignoring him before he grabbed his briefcase and made his way out of the apartment.
Sherlock continued to glare at the shirt, not liking one bit that he was being forced into this. He had half a mind to merely toss it aside and have Mycroft simply tell him whatever it was that was so important, but he was almost certain that his brother had men waiting on the other side of the door in just such an event and frankly, he wanted to be rid of the man.
Soldiering through the process of getting dressed, he almost groaned when he finished buttoning the shirt. “I feel like a child in my father’s clothes.”
“It’s because you are. That’ far too big large for Dr. Wilson and I doubt that he would’ve went out and bought you something. Not when Dr. House used to live with him has a habit of lingering around.” Pursing his lips for show as he pretended to think it over, Mycroft narrowed his eyes at him. “I wonder if that’s how you and John will turn out when he gets married.”
“John isn’t going to get married. He can barely keep a girlfriend.”
“With you around, yes. But you seem to forget that you’ve been gone for some time now, brother of mine.”
“It’s only been a few months,” Sherlock shot back.
The fact that he could count it down to the very day didn’t need to be said. He was certain that the fact that he wasn’t pleased with his situation was written all over his face. Sure, he enjoyed House and his strangely similar life, but there was no Lestrade or Mrs. Hudson, though Dominika tended to be the more attractive of the two, and most importantly, there was no John. No one to share in his surprise or test with House. There was Wilson, but Wilson was House’s.
Thankfully, Mycroft let the conversation die as he opened the door and gestured for him to head out with his umbrella. There was work to be done and brotherly bonding had never actually be their forte. Once they got past the verbal sniping and waging war with nothing more than a look there was little to be down. Not when they could so easily figure each out.
It was why Sherlock didn’t actually have to be told that Mycroft’s presence wasn’t just of important national security, but something involving him. There was a problem that was best left to him for handling while his brother lingered in the states, more likely made his way back to England or France or a hundred other places Mycroft’s talents could be needed. None of it was surprising until he got in the car and found himself face to face with his least favorite American.
“Nice to see you again, sir,” Neilson said in that smug tone as he sat there with a shit eating grin on his face.
The man was like Anderson if Anderson had an obnoxious American accent and access to guns. And even worse, the man made him realize that even Anderson wasn’t the most annoying prat in the world which just made him more annoying.
“What’s going on, Mycroft?” He asked, not wanting to actually speak with the American agent.
Clearing his throat, Mycroft handed him a file. “It would seem as though your efforts to take down Moriarty’s allies has been noticed.”
“And? It isn’t as though that’s likely to create any sort of difficulty.”
“Normally I would agree, but that was before we noticed a man following you.”
Sherlock frowned. Looking over at Neilson, who just nodded at the folder, he opened it and looked over the papers there. Nothing of particular interest. A list of crimes that painted out the fact that the man wasn’t just a criminal, but a wanted one and for various things. Smuggling, funding terrorism, murder, not that any of it could actually be pinned on him. No, the way all the trails led to dead ends tended to make him think of one man.
“So he worked with Moriarty. Going to start dictating who I go after next?”
“He arrived in the country a week after you did Sherlock. Right around the time you had that patient suffering from botulism.”
“Seems someone really wants your attention,” Neilson said, smugness gone for the time being at the very least.
“You think he was involved because of his ties to Moriarty and the botulism?” Sherlock laughed mockingly at the idea. “There’s no way that Jim would’ve let another person in on his secrets like that. Especially not someone who he was using so obviously. Doyle would’ve just been a pawn to him.”
Running his thumb along his ring, Mycroft sighed while Neilson pulled out a briefcase. Opening it, the man pulled at a bag and tossed it into Sherlock’s lap.
“This was apparently sent to your brother not long before the botulism incident. Reason enough to take this seriously?”
Swallowing, Sherlock picked up the bag and looked it over. He would’ve known the contents anywhere. The black gun that Moriarty had taken from him, used to kill himself on the roof just to preserve a secret, of all things. Just to make sure that Sherlock had to give up everything just like he had.
“It wasn’t immediately recovered after… that day, Sherlock. You became the more important focus, as you could imagine,” Mycroft said, glancing briefly at the gun. “It was all dubbed for the better given that you were last seen with the weapon, but then it turned up with a note. Someone, apparently, wants revenge for Moriarty.”
“It must be one of his more loyal men,” Sherlock said dismissively.
Neilson snorted. “Give the man a medal. Come on, is this really the man we should be trusting with this? We could easily get rid of himself ourselves here, Mr. Holmes.”
Mycroft glared at the man. “My brother happens to be a lot smarter than your men, Neilson when a woman isn’t concerned,” he said, unable to resist the jibe about Irene. Something that would’ve been much worse and more pointed if he had actually known that Sherlock had been responsible for saving her life twice now. Turning back towards his brother, he said, “Doyle’s been hiding out in the tri-state area. We believe that he’s been working up to an attack on you.”
“And this is your idea of warning me? Mycroft, I’m almost touched. Why not let the Americans handle this though?”
“You’re the one I trust, Sherlock.”
Nodding, Sherlock looked at the picture of the man and nodded. “Alright. Take me to the hospital. I’m going to need House. Even as a cripple, he’s more prone to legwork than you’ve ever been.”
“I’m glad to know you’re so willing, brother of mine,” Mycroft said, gesturing toward the driver.
Sherlock honestly didn’t care one way or another about their little signals or the fact that Neilson still didn’t trust him. He had a case and for the first time since figuring out the fact that House was his father, he felt truly ecstatic.
House found himself rather excited for the day ahead of him as he got to work. Not that he liked the idea of doing clinic work or, well, work in general, but things were different with Sherlock around. They could happily go into the clinic together, casually deducing everything about the patients, since, even without his vast medical knowledge, Sherlock did just fine at piecing together their problems. Though, that could’ve also been because clinic patients so rarely had anything wrong with them
Pulling into the garage, he took off his helmet, resting it on the handle bar while he grabbed his cane before tucking the helmet under his arm and getting off his bike. As usual the place was empty, a rather normal occurrence. Or, at least, he was expecting it to be when he saw an unfamiliar car come to stop right in the middle of the drive way.
Stopping to look at them, knowing who ever it was couldn’t possibly be hospital staff or anyone with an emergency, he frowned as he tried to piece it together. A task that wasn’t exactly simple, given that even when the two men got out, there was something wrong. One seemed to be looking around as though he was lost while the other just stared at House.
Walking over to him, the guy only smiled rather cheerfully. Everything about him screamed smug, though House couldn’t exactly say why. Stopping in front of the doctor, the guy just scratched at the corner of if mouth with his thumb as he looked him over.
“So, you’re Dr. House.”
“Sorry, I only hire girl prostitutes. Less likely to have a bigger dick than me” House said as he glanced over to the elevator.
The man only smiled a bit more happily at that, almost because no sense of joy had yet to reach his eyes. No, something about them remained disturbingly distant through it all. “It’s ok. I wanted to talk to you about a problem I have.”
“I already have a case.”
“This case isn’t for you.”
And it shouldn’t have been interesting. Looking over at the guy’s car where a man was leaning against it, casually keeping an eye out for anyone, House knew that he should be trying to get away. But then there was that voice in the back of his head and that kept nagging at him to find out who the case was for and what it was on the off chance he could show off his own brilliant skills.
It was a voice he was trying very hard to ignore for once.
Glancing at the elevator again, he turned his attentions to the ma, noting how calm he was. Clearly up to something and possibly dangerous. Though, judging by the man he was keeping as muscle, perhaps it was the other’s duty to keep a level head.
“See, Mr. House. I was wondering if Sherlock could come out and play,” the guy said as he shrugged, doing his best to imitate a nervous kid or something.
Rolling his eyes, House scoffed as he started to head toward the elevator. “Yeah, well, I don’t know where he is.”
“Really? Because I do.”
Stopping cold in his track, House stared at the door of the elevator, trying to piece together whether or not he had seen anyone out of the ordinary in his life since Sherlock arrive. Unfortunately, beyond Irene and Mycroft, he couldn’t quite say that there was.
“Yesterday he spent the day with Wilson. They had fun and Wilson has a lovely home. Not as nice as yours though,” the guy said in a rather taunting tone. “Did you have fun eating dinner with the three people you love this weekend? Granted, I mean, with you and Wilson, it’s more of My Two Dads scenario. Maybe your illegal bride could go off with Sherlock. Sure she’d love that.”
“Alright, who the hell are you and what do you want?” House asked quickly turning around to stare down the man.
Instead he found himself staring at the man’s friend and the little red dot shining from the man’s gun to his chest. Swallowing a bit nervously, House looked at the mysterious stranger, who’s face was positively manic compared to those dead eyes.
Walking over to House, he patted the man on the shoulder and sighed. “My friend here doesn’t like sudden movements. Try to avoid that.”
“You can’t scare me,” House said, trying to will his body to play along with that idea.
Holding out his hand the man chuckled. “I forgot to introduce myself, I’m Doyle.”
“He’s Trained-Sniper-With-Loaded-Gun. It’s Cherokee.”
“Ha. Funny,” House remarked, not one ounce of humour colouring his voice.
Doyle nodded in agreement as he stared at the man with the gun. “Now don’t worry. I don’t want to scare you. I just want your son’s attention for a little while and using you seems to be the best way to go about it.”
“Why not mess with Wilson as well? I’m sure Sherlock likes him too.”
“Maybe later. Right now, I just want two very minor things from you.”
“I don’t put out on the first date,” House shot back, never once letting his eyes drift away from the real threat in the situation.
Doyle patted him on the back as he began moving toward the car. Without a choice House followed along, finding the sniper no less threatening with the barrel of his gun nearly pressed against House’s chest.
Opening the car door, Doyle nodded toward it. “You’re going to come for a ride and we can talk about this kid of yours. I hear he’s smart.”
“Is this the villain version of a parent teacher conference because I’m sure you’d rather talk to his mom than me.”
“I’d get in before my heavily armed friend shoots you somewhere painful. Like that knee of yours,” Doyle said before getting in himself.
With no other option, House waited for the sniper to move slightly before getting in. The last thing he wanted to do was test his luck with anyone who had a loaded gun. He learned that lesson already and didn’t see a point in repeating it.
Looking over at Doyle, who was watching him like a hawk, House gripped his cane a little tighter. Even if it did nothing to help him out of this particular situation, it made him feel better to at least have a plan.
“So, part two is... I kind of want you to call your son.”
“You’re kidnapping me to get his number?”
“What can I say? Mass murder is a lot easier than asking someone to play with you most days. Phone?” He asked, holding out his hand patiently.
Frowning, House dug around his pocket until he found it. Scrolling through his contacts, he found Sherlock’s number and dialled. Listening to it ring, he didn’t know whether or not he should hope for the guy to pick up or completely avoid his call, since either way, it was bound to have a negative effect on one of them.
Leaning over, Doyle looked at the phone with a frown. “Put it on speak phone. I want to hear it ring.”
“Is there a certain level crazy needed to be a criminal?”
Making a sound of amusement, Doyle shook his head as the sounds of ringing began to fill the car as the sniper got in the driver seat. Pulling off, Doyle did a little fist pump when someone finally answered.
“House, good. I was going to call you myself,” Sherlock said immediately.
“Mmm. Wrong. I’m Doyle. I’ve been watching you,” the man said, covering House’s mouth with his hand.
For a moment there was nothing but silence on the other end before Sherlock let out a muttered curse. “What have you done to House?”
“I’m fine,” he said before focusing his attention on Doyle. “And I really hope you washed your hands.”
“I do. And will now that I have your mouth germs on me. Hey, Sherlock?”
“Are you excited for this?”
“Excited for what?” Sherlock questioned, sounding more annoyed than confused.
Certainly if he had a front seat view of the criminal trying to get at him, it would’ve been the other way around. Or, that’s what House felt as he watched the guy sitting there with his hands balled into fists, a look a pure pleasure on his face as he smiled.
“Someone is goingto die today because of you. I need you to know that’s the first rule. Someone. Will. Die.”
“Rule?” House and Sherlock both questioned.
Smiling over at his captive, Doyle nodded. “Yeah. It’s like a game. Jim liked those. Not my personal style. I would’ve just killed you or went after everyone you love so that way when you return home, you’d have nothing... But, you know, other people’s wishes and all that.”
“What are you up to?”
“Well, I can’t say, but at the hospital, someone’s waiting for you. Oh, and be careful there. Got a little Tinker, Tailor thing going on there.”
House rolled his eyes with a groan. “He doesn’t watch movies. Or TV. Kind of socially inept.”
Doyle gave him a strange look before looking back at the phone. “That’s really weird. I mean, it was a book first.”
“Does he seem like a spy novel guy?”
“House, stop making friends with this psychopath,” Sherlock ordered.
Shaking his head, more in disbelief than anything else, Doyle sighed. “Fine. There’s a mole giving away all your secrets again. Be careful. I want you to finish the game.”
With that, he ended the call before looking at House with a frown. “Who doesn’t watch movies?”
“That’s really weird,” he said, grabbing a towel from the floor. Looking at it, he wiped off his hand before pressing it against House’s mouth.
Struggling, House tried to fight him off, only belatedly realizing that it was soaked in chloroform. Slumping against the door as everything started to go dark, he started to think that the one not making it out of the day alive was either him or Sherlock, if not both.