It was a tough decision.
Nine hours on a flight with cramped seats or nine hours on a private jet with oodles of legroom. And Mycroft.
Nine hours on a flight with screaming kids and babies or nine hours of silence from Mycroft.
Nine hours of recirculated air or nine hours of recirculated air and Mycroft.
Then there's Customs. Then there's Customs vs. Mycroft.
No, really, it was a tough decision. No matter how he sliced it, the alternative was an extra nine hours alone with Mycroft.
It wasn't that John Watson didn't really like the elder Holmes brother, it was just that........ alright, it was that he didn't really like the elder Holmes brother and he still resented him a great deal for the colossal fixes he'd gotten Sherlock into with his ginormous cock-ups. But the long, long hours spent in silence gave John too much time to reflect on his life with Sherlock Holmes.
He'd had time to realise why his attempts to lead a normal life just hadn't been working out. The work of a civilian doctor was routine, boring and the women he'd dated.... much as he really hated to admit it, they were boring too. He couldn't fit in with civilian life because he walked in a different world. Sherlock had walked in a different world too; not the same world as John's but the two aligned neatly enough to make it work. John saw people differently, too - he'd had to. He'd spent time with people with different cultures, different priorities, different understandings, different ways of looking at the world. He saw Sherlock differently, and practically took the man in stride.
He had a lot in common with Sherlock. They both liked not having to be 'on' all the time and they both liked not having to make constant conversation. They liked similar foods (when Sherlock would eat) and similar drink, they both liked putting silly things on the skull, and John quite liked the violin (although violin at 2 a.m. had taken some getting used to.) John really enjoyed the cases, much moreso than he'd thought he would and he did enjoy taking care of Sherlock. John was a man who needed a purpose and to be needed, and Sherlock had given him both.
What bothered him was how much he had in common with Mycroft.
That had taken a lonnnnng time to recognise and the realisation still unnerved him. He resented Mycroft and thought of him as a cold, Machiavellian bastard who didn't hesitate to throw his own brother under the bus despite watching over him like George Orwell dialed up to eleven. Mycroft's schemes were downright frightening; privately, he didn't blame Sherlock for wanting nothing to do with him or them. Mycroft was a snake, and not even a snake in the grass but a king cobra who'd rise up, stare you in the eye, then fill your head with poison. The thought that he had anything in common with such a man was deeply disturbing to John.
But he did and shooting Harry had driven it home. He and Mycroft were both calm, quiet men who didn't look very frightening and used that to their advantage. They were both caring brothers exasperated with their addict siblings. They were both seldom cared for in return - or so they'd thought, and their siblings' ways of caring had taken them both by shock. They both looked at right and wrong in a different way and they would use their weapons without hesitation if they knew, absolutely knew, that it was the right thing to do. And they would not hesitate to draw on their own family if they knew, absolutely knew, that it was the right thing to do.
It disturbed John that he'd drawn on his own sister, in favour of Mycroft. "Time to choose a side," Mycroft had once said, and John Watson had chosen to side with them. Against his own sister.
And he knew, absolutely knew, that it was the right thing to do.
It bothered John that he had started warming up to the man. It bothered him that Mycroft seemed to be warming up to him as well. He'd seen emotion that he knew Mycroft would never permit to be viewed by anyone; he'd learned of skeletons in the Holmes family closet that made the skull look tame. He'd even seen the man smile on a few occasions - one of the few aspects where the family resemblance was apparent, as a genuine Mycroft smile was as soft, warm, and heart-meltingly boyish as a genuine Sherlock smile. Privately, John thought it was a good thing the Holmes' smiles were such rarities, as they could easily be lethal weapons in the wrong hands.
Good thing John's were the right hands.