Chapter 1: Play Date
Six-year-old Sherlock Holmes wandered into the study and found his big brother reading in the chair by the fire. Poking Mycroft in the shoulder, he asked, "Mycey, what's a boyfriend?"
The thirteen-year-old looked down from his book, slightly annoyed at his little brother coming to bother him once again. "Why do you wish to know, dear brother?"
"A boy at school said I was his. What is it?"
Mycroft let out a small sigh and shut his book. "A boyfriend is a significant other who is a boy. Sort of like how Mum has Dad. Only they're married."
"Oh." Sherlock thought about this. "So, it's good?"
"Suppose so. Though significant others only cause trouble."
"Emotions get in the way. Sometimes it's not worth it to get involved in such a game." Mycroft looked down at his nails, not wanting to meet his little brother's gaze.
"But he's nice. He's not like the others. They're mean."
"What's his name, Sherlock?"
Sherlock looked at his shoes. "New kid."
Mycroft's lips curled into a small smile. His brother was still young, and though sometimes he got easily irritated at his presence, he was still sort of comical to observe. "I suggest if you'd like to make him your boyfriend, you'll learn his actual name. 'New Kid' is only a title."
"John, okay? He's John. Just moved here. Been at school a few weeks."
"That's better. And you said he's nice? Then I'm alright with it." Mycroft glanced around the room, then back to Sherlock. He patted the seat next to him. "Come up here with me."
Sherlock climbed up next to Mycroft. "Whatwhatwhat?"
Mycroft smiled bigger than intended at his brother's eagerness. "If you really like this boy, don't you let anyone tell you otherwise, understand?"
Sherlock nodded. "Why, Mycey?"
"People are cruel, Sherlock. You'll see that as you get older." Mycroft whispered, worried their parents would be within earshot. "Emotions are a dangerous game, especially once they involve someone else. But if he makes you happy, then don't let others opinions get in the way."
Sherlock's brow furrowed. "So... people are mean and if you like someone, they can be mean too? Unless they like you back?"
"Erm, sort of." Mycroft shifted a bit. "Just be careful, alright dear brother?"
"He plays with me. And shares his lunch. I don't eat it though. And he fought off Jimmy yesterday!"
"Jimmy is a right prat. His brother isn't the kindest of gentlemen, either." Mycroft recalled a time when this boy's brother had given him a black eye. "I'm glad you've found a friend... you dodn't have many, did you?"
"Just one. Can he come over?!"
"Of course. Mother and father shouldn't mind. I assume they'll be ecstatic."
"YAY!" Sherlock threw his arms around Mycroft's neck. "Can you call? Tomorrow's Sat-ur-day, so there's no school!"
Mycroft was a bit surprised at this sudden hug, but he smiled all the same and returned it. "Of course I can," he whispered, kissing his brother's temple. "I'm sure you two will have a great time together."
"Do it now." Sherlock sat there. "Please."
Mycroft nodded. He leaned over to pick up the telephone. "Do you have the phone number?"
Sherlock jumped off the chair and ran to his room, grabbing the class roster and bringing it to Mycroft. "Here," he panted.
Again, Mycroft laughed at his little brother's eagerness. He dialed the number as he was told and spoke to John's parents who agreed to have their son come over to play. As he spoke, he glanced at Sherlock and gave him a small nod.
Sherlock jumped off the chair, running in circles. "John's coming over! John's coming over!"
Mycroft covered his mouth to stifle his laughter. "Yes, Mrs. Watson. Tomorrow at around noon sounds fantastic. Sherlock is certainly pleased. Have a great evening." He hung up the phone and stood up, running around in circles with his little brother. "Yes, he most certainly is! Now, are you going to clean up the playroom?"
"Yes! Come help me!" Sherlock grabbed Mycroft's hand, tugging him toward the door. "Come on!" Mycroft threw his book onto the chair and followed his brother, grinning. "I'm coming as fast as I can!"
Sherlock dragged Mycroft to the playroom which was a right disaster. "Help," Sherlock said, trying to make it sound like an order. Mycroft put his hands on his hips. "My little brother, ordering me around." He shook his head, picking up a couple of toys and throwing them into the toy box. "Hopefully one day that behavior will cease."
"Nope. Never." Sherlock grabbed his costumes and dumped them in the dress up chest. "I'll always tell you what t'do, big brother." Mycroft wrinkled his nose as he picked up a pirate hat from the ground, tossing it on Sherlock's head. "Well, when I'm working for the British Government, you'll simply HAVE to take orders from me. It'll be the law."
"Not for me. I'm your brother. You'd make an ex-cep-shun for me!" Sherlock yanked the pirate hat down on his unruly black curls, grabbing his swords and adding them to the chest.
"Maybe. Depends on if you're nice to me." Mycroft stuck his tongue out at him as he wheeled a red wagon against the wall. "You are a spoiled child. So many toys for one little brother."
"I like them. Mummy always says if I play with it, I can keep it. 'Sides, John'll be here tomorrow!!" Sherlock spun around again, bumping into Mycroft and knocking his hat off. Mycroft picked the hat up once more and placed it on his head. "I'm glad you have a friend. I'm glad to see you so excited." He told his brother, genuinely.
"Me too. You'll be nice, right? You can be scary to kids my age." Sherlock was worried; he didn't want his friend frightened off.
"Of course, dear brother. Why would I be anything but nice?" Mycroft knelt down so he was eye level with Sherlock. "I'm not that big and scary, am I?" Sherlock glanced at Mycroft. "Sometimes, when you frown."
Mycroft took a deep breath through his nose, trying not to do the very frown that Sherlock was speaking of. "Yes, well. You're still young." He gave his little brother a pat on the shoulder before standing up again. He felt wary all of a sudden, tired. "Let's finish up?"
"Sure." Sherlock threw his hat in the chest and grabbed his last few toys. "D'you think- d'you think you could help make tea and stuff for t'morrow? For me and John?"
"I'd love to." Mycroft started picking up Sherlock's army men that was strewn all over the floor. "We can even make biscuits tonight, if you'd like."
"Yes! Chocolate please. And mint tea for t'morrow, maybe?"
"Are you certain John likes those kinds of things?"
"He shared his brownie with me his first day of school. And I shared my tea the next day." Sherlock helped a bit, tripping on the way to the chest and scattering what he was holding. "Sorry, Mycey."
After Mycroft had finished with the army men, he crawled over to where Sherlock had dropped his toys and helped him pick them up. "It's okay, dear brother," he whispered. "We can make that, then. I think he'll enjoy himself."
Sherlock nodded, excited and nervous. "No one's ever come over before. What if he doesn't have fun?"
"Impossible. Look how many toys you have. I'm sure you two will find something to get into." Mycroft told him, sitting back on his heels. "Anyway, I can't imagine he won't be intrigued by the tree house in the backyard."
Sherlock's eyes widened. "John loves trees! And adventures! Let's go cook!" He grabbed Mycroft's hand again. Mycroft laughed as he struggled a bit to get back on his feet. "Woah, hold on," he told his little brother, stabling himself in standing position before taking his hand again. "Off to the kitchen, then."
Sherlock ran, tugging at Mycroft until his older brother scooped him up. Sherlock squirmed and laughed until Mycroft set him down on the kitchen counter. "What first?"
"Well. Eggs, of course." Mycroft hardly knew how to cook himself a meal. Usually they had the governesses do that for them, but he understood how special Sherlock wanted to make this play date. Cooking biscuits was something he wanted, and Mycroft would do anything to keep his brother happy. "Milk... flour? Maybe flour. Butter... and chocolate." He scoured the shelves until he found a cookbook, opening it to the recipe for chocolate biscuits.
"Sugar! And Vanilla! Nanny always says vanilla and chocolate."
"Right." Mycroft raced around the kitchen for the ingredients and came back with them all in a bowl. "D'you know how to crack and egg?"
Sherlock nodded, holding his hands out. Mycroft gave him one of the eggs from the bowl, clearing the ingredients out and placing them on the counter. "Aye, captain. Go ahead. Crack it."
Grinning, Sherlock rapped the egg against the side of the bowl, the yolk and clear liquid falling into the bowl
"Good job. Wanna do the second?"
"Yep." Sherlock took the second egg and cracked it as well, its contents also landing in the bowl.
"Good. Now... I think flour next? And then vanilla..." He measures out the appropriate amount of flour and puts it in the bowl, followed by two small drops of vanilla. "Can you manage the chocolate, captain Sherlock?"
Sherlock beamed at his brother, taking the chocolate and pouring it in, stopping when Mycroft said. Mycroft began to stir the contents together until they were ready to be taken out with a spoon and placed on one of the cooking sheets. He handed Sherlock a spoon, then grabbed one for himself. "Ready? Don't make them too big or they'll all spread together."
Sherlock nodded, spooning out the batter onto the sheet in blobs. "It's like chocolate treasure!"
"Right you are." He smiled, as they finished up. Mycroft scurried over to the oven, setting it for the appropriate time and heat. He picked up the baking sheet and slid it into the oven. "Let's give it twenty minutes, alright? Then we'll check back."
"'Kay." Sherlock looked around. "Um, can you get me down?"
"Nope." Mycroft crossed his arms over his chest. "Not unless you say the magic word."
Sherlock groaned. "'Kay, fine. Can you please get me down, Mycey?"
Mycroft nodded, walking over to where Sherlock was on the counter. He turned around and knelt forward so Sherlock could get onto his back.
"Piggyback ride?" Sherlock clambered onto Mycroft's shoulders. "Off we go!"
Mycroft raced through their house, turning this way and that until they were both outside. "Where too, Captain?"
"Uhhhh, to tomorrow!"
"How do we get to tomorrow?" Mycroft paused, catching his breath. He really needed to go to the gym...
Sherlock hugged Mycroft's head. "We sleep and wake up and then John gets here and we have tea and chocolate and have adventures!"
"I can't take you there myself, silly. You have to wait."
"I don't wanna wait!" Sherlock pouted, but then Mycroft spun them around and he had to hold on tight. "Can you read me something? I wanna hear a story."
"Waiting is a part of life. You don't want it to speed up, do you?" Mycroft asked, before nodding. "I can, yes. Let's go back inside." He walked the two of them back into the study. He sat Sherlock down on one of the cushy sofas and walked over to the bookshelf. "What do you want to hear?"
"I dunno, Shake-spere maybe? What do you wanna read?"
Mycroft smirked, grabbing a hold of Hamlet. He sat down next to his little brother and opened the book. "How about Hamlet?"
"I love Hamlet!" He snuggled into Mycroft, listening to his brother read the play, doing all the voices of course, until he fell asleep, dreaming of the playdate and an oatmeal jumper.
Sherlock paced the foyer, impatient. "Is he here yet?"
"Patience, little brother." Mycroft said from the sofa in their parlor.
Sherlock groaned. "But Mycey-" His whining cut short as he heard a car pull up. Dashing to the window, he looked out. "He's here! He's here!"
John stepped out of his Mum's car, his thumb in his mouth. He walked up to the door and knocked quietly, a little bit nervous to see his new friend.
"Well, answer the door, Sherlock."
Sherlock ran to the door, struggling a bit but managing to get it open. "John!" he shouted.
John gave him a small smile, popping his thumb out of his mouth. "Hi."
"Come in." Sherlock grabbed John's hand and led him inside. "This is Mycey, my big brother. This is John."
"Hello, John," Mycroft smiled, holding his hand out to John for him to shake. John only stared at it, then up at Mycroft, trembling a little bit. Mycroft put his hand back at his side. "Well, why don't the two of you get to playing, eh? I'll get tea together."
Sherlock nodded. "We'll go to the playroom." Taking John's hand, he led the blonde boy through the house to the room with the toys. John was perplexed at all the toys. "Wow. This is all yours, Sherlock?" He asked, unsure of where to start first.
"Yep." Sherlock took him around, showing him everything. "Whadya wanna be when you grow up?"
"I wanna be a doc-er!" John exclaimed. "I wanna take care of peoples and make sure they're not sick! Like my daddy." He grinned. "What 'bout you, Sherlock?"
"I wanna be a pirate!" Sherlock ran to the costume chest and grabbed his pirate hat. "See?"
"But pirates aren't a job!" John told him, looking through his chest to find a stethoscope. "Doc-ers are jobs!"
"Pirates are too! They find treasure and go on adventures, they fight. Fighting's a job." Sherlock grabbed his pirate coat and sword before realizing what John was looking for. He helped him find it and his father's old lab coat. "Here."
John put the coat on and smiled, placing the stethoscope around his neck. "But they don't get paid... pirates just do what they want."
"Exactly! I wanna do what I want. No rules. No orders. I can-I can defeat all the bullies." He stopped and looked at John, several questions buzzing around his young mind. "Why are you nice to me?"
"Why wouldn't I wanna be nice to you?"
"No one else is." Sherlock said, sitting down and looking at the floor. "The other kids are mean. They tease. You fought for me. You hit Jimmy. Why?"
John sat next to Sherlock. "Jimmy said mean things about you... he said he wanted to burn you!" John scowled at the ground.
"But the others laughed. You fought. You-you were nice to me. No one's nice to me. They say I'm a-a freak." Sherlock bit his lip. "You don't think that, right?"
"You're n-not a freak!" John wrapped his arms around Sherlock and gave him a squeeze. "You're brilliant and fun and I like you a lot. You're my bestest friend."
Sherlock froze as John hugged him; he almost never got hugs. "You're my bestest friend too," he said, bringing his arms up awkwardly to hug John back.
"I don't know why they think you're a freak because you're actually really cool." John grinned. "Look at your toys and everything."
"But I say stuff. I see things. They don't like it." Sherlock looked at all his toys. "I've never had others over before, John."
"Does... that make me special?"
"Yes!" Sherlock pulled John into a hug. "It makes you the most specialest. A doctor and a pirate!"
"We're the greatest team in the whole entire world, Sherlock!" John smiled, rocking them back and forth slightly. "Everyone will be 'fraid of us! They won't call you a freak or hurt you ever again because I'm going to protect you for always."
Sherlock sniffed, relaxing in his friend's arms. Pulling away and wiping his nose, he asked, "Always?"
John gave him a big nod. "ALWAYS, sillyhead."
Mycroft peeked at the two of them, knocking on the doorframe. "Tea is ready."
"TEA!" Sherlock jumped up, grabbing John's hand and pulling him after Mycroft. "Teateateatea."
John's feet nearly gave out under him as he tried to keep up with Sherlock. Mycroft had set up the good tea set on the round kitchen table for the two of them, already filling their cups, a biscuit on teach of their little saucers.
Sherlock pulled out John's chair. "Sit," he ordered before plopping into his own seat. "Thank you, Mycey."
Mycroft smiled at the two of them before vanishing into the other room. John sat where he was told and grabbed the spoon in the sugar bowl. His arms were a bit short, so he was having trouble getting the sugar into his cup without spilling it all over the table.
"Lemme help." Sherlock was back on his feet, helping John with the sugar. "Better check it isn't poison. Pirates have enemies, y'know."
John's eyes widened. "POISON?" He curled his knees up to his chest. "Sherlock I'm scared! Mycey might have poisoned it! What if he doesn't like me or something?"
Sherlock dropped the sugar. "No! It's play, pretend." He felt terrified seeing John so scared. "He likes you, he said so. Don't be scared. Please? Pleasepleaseplease?"
Sherlock's overreaction made John even more frightened. His eyes began to get glassy with tears, his little fists rubbing at them.
"What did I do wrong?" Sherlock sank to the floor, tear in his own eyes. "I ruined ev'rything."
John glanced down at Sherlock. "No.. no, you didn't." He slid off his chair and sat next to his friend. "Poison is scary, Sherlock. It's not funny."
Sherlock sniffed. "It isn't?"
John shook his head. "No! Not at all." He linked his arm through Sherlock's.
Sherlock looked at their arms, distracted from his tears. "Why d'you do that?" he asked, curious.
"'Cause it makes people feel better. When their best friend does stuffs like this."
Sherlock tightened his grip slightly in surprise, then blinking in amazement as he started to relax. "Yeah, it does work. You really are a doctor!"
John grinned. "Really? I didn't even need my masters!!" He wasn't sure what that meant, but he smiled all the same. "I'm glad I can make you better."
"You're the only one who does." Sherlock bit his lip. "D'you think... d'you think you could do that hug thing again?"
John nodded, wrapping his arms around Sherlock's neck this time and giving him a big squeeze. He turned his head slightly and kissed Sherlock on the cheek, innocently.
Sherlock wrapped his arms around John, returning the hug, squeezing tighter as he felt the kiss. "Can I try that?" he whispered.
John giggled. "If you wanna! But not on my mouth because mummy says that's only for when you're older."
Sherlock turned his head and kissed John's cheek, smiling. Then he hugged him again. "Thanks"
"You don't have to thank me, silly."
"'Course I do. And I'm not silly, you're silly!"
"You're the silliest, Sherlock Holmes!"
"You're the silliest, John Wat-son!" Giggling, Sherlock said, "You wanna see something?"
"Of course I do!!" John clapped his hands together, happily.
"Come on." Taking John's hand, Sherlock led the boy to his room to show him his secret toy. When they got there, Sherlock flicked on the lamp. "Sit."
John did as he was told, his fingers playing with the stethoscope.
Sherlock dove under his bed, kocking off his pirate hat in the process as he found what he was looking for. "Now, you hafta promise never to tell, ok?"
John bit his lip. He didn't like that rule. He didn't like it one bit. "Oookay. I guess. But if it's scary I might have to, Sherlock!"
"It shouldn't be scary. It's cool. It's the first thing I ever called a friend." Sherlock placed his skull in front of John, but as he saw John's face, he was suddenly scared of another poison reaction.
John squeaked, covering his eyes with his pudgy little fingers.
Sherlock swallowed hard. He felt he couldn't do anything right. "Daddy brought it home for me. I call him Yo-rick. He doesn't talk back like the other kids. I'm sorry if he's scary, John-"
"Sherlock, was that a person!" John kept his eyes covered, scared out of his mind.
"Not in ages! John-I-" Sherlock hid the skull again, throwing himself on his bed.
John peeked through his fingers, seeing that the skull was gone. He got off the chair and walked to the bed. "Sherlock..."
Sherlock ignored him, curled up like a cat that was upset, on the verge of tears from being angry with himself.
"Hey... Sherlock please don't cry, okay? My big sister says I'm a cry baby. I think she's stupid, but she's kind of right... I am a scaredycat!"
Sherlock opened his eyes and looked at John. "You have a big sister?"
John nodded. "She's only seven, but she's mean sometimes."
"Mycey can be mean too. He has a scary frown."
"Why can he be mean?" John climbed up onto the bed and curled his knees up by his chest, resting his head against them to look at Sherlock.
"He can get angry and yell, 'spec'lly at Mummy and Daddy, sometimes at me. And he frowns a lot, like his brain hurts."
"Hm." John looked at Sherlock a bit more closely. "Harry is just a bully. She likes to pull my hair and sit on my back while I cry. Mummy has to put her in time out a lot because she's so mean to me. I hate her."
"I hate Mycey too, but then he does nice things like read or play with me. Your sister sounds like the mean kids at school."
"She is!" John laid back on the bed and let out a yawn. "She can be so mean. But sometimes I can be mean back. I tug on her hair. Sometimes. But not as rough because she's still my sister... and mum would hate me if I hurt her, y'know."
"Yeah. I can't hurt Mycey. He doesn't hurt." Sherlock yawned, rubbing his eyes. "John," he whispered, "You tired?"
John nodded, rolling on his tummy. "A bit, yeah."
"We can sleep ifya wanna."
John laid his head down against his arms. "Noooo." He was obviously fighting sleep. "I told mummy I was gonna be a big boy and skip nap times!"
"I'm a big boy and Mummy makes me take naptimes." Sherlock uncurled a bit, stretching out. "I fell asleep in the playroom once."
"That's a silly thing to do... your bed is so comfy!"
"I was fighting bad pirates and they wounded me. I had to rest to get better." Sherlock was yawning again. "I'd like another hug. I like your hugs. They're nice."
John wiggled his way over to Sherlock and wrapped his arms around him, squeezing him as tight as he could. "Like this?"
"Yeah." Sherlock snuggled into John, holding him tight. "Don't let go, 'kay? I don't want you to leave."
John shook his head. "Sherlock, I promise on my life and my sisters life and mummy's and daddy's that I will not leave you ever! Best friends don't do that!"
"Never had a best friend before."
"Well my job is to protect you all the time. So I'm not going anywhere."
"Good. And I'll save you if anything happens. Promise."
John kissed Sherlock's cheek once more. "You're brilliant."
"Really?" Sherlock kissed John's cheek again before resting his head on John's chest. "You're brave."
John yawned. "I cry... all the time... that's not brave."
"You fought for me... that is."
"Well... best friends are worth fighting for, right?"
"I like you. I wanna be friends forever."
John smiled, burying his face in Sherlock's curly hair. "Oh my gosh. I want that too."
"Good." Sherlock fell asleep listening to John's heartbeat and feeling the future doctor's steady breath on his own wild curls.
Mycroft had gone in to make sure the boys were all right. As soon as he spied the two of them napping he smiled and shook his head. He really hoped that they'd wake before their mum came home, as cute as the two of them were. She would not be pleased to find Sherlock napping with another little boy... heaven forbid. He shut the door behind him and decided to clean up the half drunk tea from the kitchen table.
Chapter 2: Schoolyard
"My Daddy yells lots. At Mummy. And Mycey. And me most." Sherlock looked at his food, his tummy hurting. John put his sandwich on his napkin carefully and sat close to his friend, wrapping his arms around Sherlock's neck. "It's okay, Sherlock! My daddy gives me TOO much love, and I can give some of that to you!"
Sherlock brought his lunch outside, the first one out of the school doors. It hadn't been this sunny since the day John had come over, and he couldn't wait to have lunch with his friend. John had stayed behind a bit to help the teacher put away all of the books that his classmates had carelessly left on the floor after reading time. He loved helping out. She gave him the apple that was sitting on her desk as thanks and told him he could leave. Happily, he grabbed his brown bagged lunch, the apple in his free hand, and ran outside to meet his best friend. "Hiya, Sherlock!" He said as he sat down across from him, the biggest smile on his pudgy little cheeks.
"John!" Sherlock dropped his lunch and gave John a quick hug, beaming. "Whatcha got today?" he asked, curious.
"Mummy made me something special!" John said, proudly. He took out the plastic baggie which held is sandwich. "Peanut butter and 'nana sandwich!" He exclaimed, taking it out to show Sherlock. "It's my favorite."
"Ooooh, that's cool," Sherlock said, grabbing his own lunch. "Mycey helped me make a peanut butter and Jam sandwich- strawberry, my favorite." He grinned, pulling out his packet of crisps, apple, and brownie as well.
"Mycey really loves you, huh? Harry would never make me a sandwich!" John told him, a mouth full of peanut butter and banana making it hard for him to talk without mumbling. "She usually steals my snacks. I was lucky that mummy packed me two."
"Nanny was busy, and I can't reach the counter; Mycey can," Sherlock replied, accidentally spitting little flecks of his own sandwich, having taken a very large bite. "Sorry Harry steals your stuff. That's mean."
John shrugged, taking out his apple juice. He stuck the straw in and took a couple of sips. "S'okay. Sometimes she doesn't know how mean she is...I think she's jealous because... because mummy loves me more." John giggled a little, taking another bite.
"I think Mycey loves me most. And maybe Mummy. Daddy- well- Daddy isn't very nice either. He's a lot like the bullies."
John stopped eating, looking at his friend with serious eyes. "Daddy's shouldn't be bullies, Sherlock. They shouldn't. Daddies are supposed to love their sons."
"My Daddy yells lots. At Mummy. And Mycey. And me most." Sherlock looked at his food, his tummy hurting. John put his sandwich on his napkin carefully and sat close to his friend, wrapping his arms around Sherlock's neck. "It's okay, Sherlock! My daddy gives me TOO much love, and I can give some of that to you!"
Jim was sitting over at another table, watching the two boys enjoying their meal. "Look at them. They're so stupid," he remarked, taking a sip of his own juice box. "That John kid. I hate him. But I think I hate Sherlock even more. With his stupid curls and his stupid face." He squeezed his juice box a little bit too hard, crushing it in his little fist.
Seb nodded in agreement. "Yep," he said, stabbing his apple with a fork, watching as the juice slowly trickled out. "Want me t'do somefing to 'em?" he asked his twisted friend.
"Dad forgot to pack my lunch," Jim remarked, staring at a bag that only had a juicebox and an apple in it- something he'd previously nicked off another kid. "Get their food. All of it. I'm feeling hungry." He looked at Seb, a small, twisted grin on his face. "Bring them over here too."
Seb nodded, grinning. "Back in a sec, Boss." He dropped his skewered apple and strolled over to the two under the tree, nose wrinkling at the gross hug the two shared. "Get your food and come with me," he barked.
John left his arms around Sherlock for a good amount of time before they were rudely interrupted by Sebastian Moran. John glared up at Seb, who was a lot taller than he was. "Why should we!" He glared, removing his arms from his best friend. "We- we're not hurting anyone. Leave us alone."
"Because Jimmy said so, and he always is right." Seb made a swipe for John's food.
Sherlock knocked the boy's knees out from under him, spilling Seb on the grass. "No."
John stood up and looked down at Seb on the ground. "Go tell Jimmy that he can s-sod off." He hated using words that his daddy told him not to, but right now his little face was reddening with anger.
Sherlock stood next to John, hands on his hips. "Yeah!" He always felt braver next to John.
Seb growled and pounced on the lunches, swiping them and running full tilt back to Jim. "Here you are, Boss!" Seb grinned, dumping the load on the table.
John watched him, balling his fists. "Why is he so mean!" He stomped his foot on the ground, pouting angrily. "We have to get it back, Sherlock. That's our food!"
Grabbing John's hand, Sherlock led his friend to Jimmy's table where the dark haired boy and the blond boy were splitting Sherlock and John's food.
Jim watched Seb running towards him and he grinned. "Good job, Sebby." He was excited. Yes, he was starving, but it was great to watch the two of them get all worked up. "This should be fun." He grabbed the second slice of peanut butter and banana (which he made sure to spit on and claim). He took a bite and saw that Sherlock and John had already arrived. "Nice of you to join us, LOSERS," he giggled.
John glared at Jim. "That's not fair. You can't just take people's food like that!"
"Give. That. Back," Sherlock hissed, hands balling into fists. "You mean, awful, terrible person!"
Seb raised an eyebrow at the intruders. "You know Boss, I think the pirate and his crybaby friend are trying to talk to you."
"I see that." Jim remarked, lazily turning his head to look at the two of them. "We've spit on ALL OF IT. So that means it's ours! Right Sebby?" Jim asked, reclining a bit as he made it known that he was enjoying this sandwich. "Tell your mummy that this sandwich is good, Johnny."
John balled his fists tighter, knuckles turning white. He knelt down and picked up handful of dirt, throwing it at Jim.
Sherlock took advantage of the dirt in Jim's eyes to do the same to Seb, hurriedly shoving their food back in the bags. "Come on!"
John nodded, grabbing their food and glancing at Sherlock. "Let's go back before a teacher sees. We'll get in trouble!"
Sherlock grabbed his hand and ran, running until they were all the way across the schoolyard and up a tree, eating their food fast and laughing with excitement.
John had just a bit of trouble getting up there, but once he did he was glad to be enjoying his food with his best friend. "That was close! I'm glad I had you to help me." He grinned, munching on the apple that the teacher had given him. "You're my bestest friend, Sherlock Holmes."
Sherlock grinned back, mouth full of chips. He broke his brownie in half and gave it to John. "Here. The Bestest Friend award."
John got excited and bounced happily, excepting his award. "I'd like to thank mummy and daddy for this award. And my bestest friend, Sherlock. But not Harry. Or Jim." He giggled, remembering what he saw on the different award shows his mummy and daddy would watch from time to time. He glanced over and saw Seb coming this way. "Oh no, Sherlock. We have trouble..."
Sherlock laughed at John's acceptance but soon stopped when he looked over towards the approaching Seb. "Finish the food. Quick!"
Seb almost caught the dirt but missed some, falling off the bench. He struggled up and then ran to Jim, helping him clean his face.
Jim cursed, rubbing his one fist in his eye, the other hand trying to violently snatch at the food that the other boys were taking. It hurt, and he found himself starting to cry (which he NEVER did, just when he was in a lot of pain). "Sebby, help me!"
Seb worked fast, clearing the dirt out of Jim's eyes as best he could. "Help me, Boss. Let's get 'em."
Jim pushed Seb away for a moment, his arms wrapped tightly in front of his chest. "NO. THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN." He glared daggers at Seb. "YOU RUINED EVERYTHING. YOU GET THEM."
Seb was stunned for a moment, knocked back by the force of Jim's tantrum before scowling. "Prat," he hissed before running after the boys.
Jim sat on the table top, bringing his knees to his chest as he watched. "I hate them. I hate them so much. Those jerks," he murmured to himself, rocking slightly. "One day I'll make them pay... I'll make them pay and Ill... I'll kill them!"
Seb skidded to a halt at the base of the tree, looking up at the boys. "Two lovebirds in a tree?" he sneered. "Making my job easy!"
"Shut up!" John yelled, stuffing his face with the lunch that should have been enjoyed slowly. "Why are you so mean?" He asked, mouth full of apple.
"Awwww, is the wittle cwybaby afwaid?" Seb taunted, grinning mischievously. "And you, oh pirate of the yard, how much didja hafta give this one before he hugged ya, huh?" Sherlock glared at the boy, looking around at the tree for anything he could throw.
"HE DIDN'T GIVE ANYTHING." John yelled. Seb had obviously hit a nerve. In John's last school, he'd made few friends. He'd been the one that was picked on. He didn't need that here, and he didn't need his best friend getting picked on either. "You're so mean. Go hang out with Jimmy. Looks like he's the- the cry baby here!" John balled up his paper bag and threw it at Seb's head.
Seb caught it. "Need to be heavier, crybaby," before launching into a full rendition of "Sherlock and John sitting in a tree."
Sherlock swung down, agile from the time spent in his own tree house at home and tackled the bully, pinning him to the ground. "Take. It. BACK!" he shouted. John's eyes widened as he watched Sherlock tackle Seb. He jumped down from the tree himself, trying to pull Sherlock off, his eyes scanning the school yard to make sure the teacher on duty wasn't watching. "Sherlock, no! You'll get in trouble. The teacher is right over there... she'll see you!"
Seb glared up at Sherlock, pushing up hard. "Get. Off. Me." His voice had gone soft and dangerous before Jim rushed up and shoved the curly haired menace off Seb.
Jim noticed that Sherlock was on top of Seb. His tantrum had subsided for the time being, and he stood up, running towards them. "Get OFF HIM," he glared, pushing Sherlock. "GET OFF."
Sherlock went flying, rolling into the tree. He picked himself up and faced Jim. "Jimmy," he said, voice very cold.
"Sherly." Jim glared. "Don't you lay a finger on my best friend." He snarled, pulling a stick from the closest limb of the tree. "I'll hit you with it! I'm not scared!"
Sherlock clenched his little hands into fists. "I'm not afraid of you, Jimmy. You can't hurt me."
Jim smirked, leaning against the stick as if it were a cane. "Really, you're not afraid." He swung the stick directly at Sherlock, hard, stopping right before it was supposed to thwack him in the head. The curly haired boy didn't even flinch. "I could kill you, you know," he whispered with his little Irish accent peeking through the adapted English one.
Seb body blocked John as Jim confronted Sherlock, the smaller boy trying to shove him out of the way and failing. "Sherlock!"
"Foreigner," Sherlock spat, using the word he'd learned from Mycey a few days earlier. He glanced at John and then back at Jimmy. He walked right up to the dark haired boy, got in his face, and said, "You. Don't. Scare. Me. Any. More." He snatched the stick and threw it as hard as his arms let him.
Jim grabbed a hold of Sherlock's collar, pulling him close. "I know who your best friend is." He growled, staring down his nose at Sherlock, which gave him a sort of maniacal look. "I can snap him. I can kill him. And that will kill you. Wouldn't it?" Jim pushed him backward a bit, glancing over at Seb. "Grab John," he ordered.
Seb obeyed, strong arming the boy and holding him still. "Got 'im."
John struggled in Seb's grasp. "LET ME GO." He screamed, trying to flail his arms. He glanced at Sherlock, his brown eyes pleading for help. Jim walked closer, taking John's throat in his hand. He squeezed a bit, hearing John start to struggle. There was an evil grin on his face-one that seemed just a bit too old for him. His eyes darkened. Yes, this was exactly what he wanted.
Sherlock staggered back, steadying himself before running between Jim and John. Sherlock tackled Jim, pulling him away from John and punching him hard in the stomach before rounding on Seb. Sherlock managed to get behind the bigger boy and kick hard where it would hurt.
John staggered out of Seb's grasp and rubbed at his neck, coughing loudly. "Sh-Sherlock!" His voice was raspy, his face red. His eyes started to well up with tears. What had just happened? He didn't understand... he'd never been touched like that before. He'd never had his life threatened.
Jim lay on the ground, sucking in breath from the blow to his stomach. It was as if Sherlock had knocked all the wind out of him. He clenched his jaw, trying to not cry out of pure frustration and annoyance that Sherlock Holmes had done this to him; it gave him even more incentive to want to kill him and his little boyfriend. Seb collapsed, clutching as the place where Sherlock had kicked, moaning and fighting the urge to cry. The kid was a menace and needed to be taught a lesson, but Seb couldn't even move much less chase him.
Sherlock grabbed John's hand checking his throat. "You're ok, not too bad, might bruise a bit, come on, we hafta get out of here!" John nodded, feeling the sobs building up in his chest. No! He couldn't cry! He had to be brave for Sherlock. He started to run away from the two boys on the ground, his hand grasping so tight to Sherlock's, as if it were his only lifeline. Sherlock led them through the playground, finding a spot surrounded by kids and diving in, weaving in and out until they were in plain view of the teacher. He sat, pulling John down beside him. "Safe now. Even Jim isn't that stupid to attack us here."
John nodded, his lower lip still quivering, though he was doing his best to hold it all in. "Why... why is he so mean? I don't understand.," he whispered, keeping his hand in Sherlock's. He refused to let go; it was the only thing that was making him feel safe, despite all of the bored-looking teachers watching the children at play.
"He hates me. I dunno why, he always has. When I first got here, he said I was the same as him. I told him to jump off the roof." Sherlock bit his lip, squeezing John's hand. "He and Seb almost pushed me off that afternoon. I've never stood up to him since, but with you there, I could."
John's eyes widened. "H-he did that to you? Sherlock, you should tell someone!" He tugged at Sherlock's hand. "That's scary! What about Mycey! Does he know? Or your mummy or daddy!"
"No, I can't tell them. He'd know and things would get worse. 'Sides, I have my soldier now. I've never felt so brave or been defended before. It was my turn to rescue you today." John's little cheeks turned a shade of crimson. "You did rescue me." He grinned, forgetting about how much his throat hurt and how upset he'd just been. "You're a hero, Sherlock! You're MY hero." John wrapped his arms around Sherlock's middle, squeezing him tightly. "I'll always believe in you."
Sherlock hugged back, resting his cheek on John's head. "Don't move," he whispered. "I wanna stay like this for a minute. I dunno how you think I'm a hero, John."
John nodded slightly, burning his face in Sherlock's neck. It felt so lovely to be hugged like that. It wasn't exactly the way mummy and daddy hugged him. It was nicer-it made him feel all warm inside. "You're like... Batman or something. Spiderman. You're always there for me. Or maybe we're like... the Wonder Twins! They're always there for each other, right? And they sort of have those cool rings that turn you into stuff." He wrinkled his nose and shook his head, realizing that he was going off topic. "You are a hero."
"I got you hurt. It's my fault Jimmy wanted to choke you. I'm not safe." Sherlock felt his eyes burn with tears as he clung to his friend. "He's not gonna stop, and now he can tell I like you, that we're the bestest friends." Sherlock shook his head. "Heroes don't put their friends in danger."
"Sometimes things happen, right?" John tilted his head up to look at Sherlock. "I don't mind the dangerousness, I just want you to be okay. Because you're the greatest and you don't deserve to be sad or scared."
Now Sherlock did cry because no one, not even Mycey, had ever been that nice or said that. "Thanks," he whispered. "That really, really means lots, John." He hugged his friend until the bell rang. They didn't see Jimmy again the rest of recess.