Chapter 1: Beginning
Sherlock rolled his eyes as the chorus of another dull song started on the radio. John had decided he wanted background noise that wasn’t Sherlock insulting someone. So he was playing the radio.
“This song is absurd.” He rolled over to face John who was trying to clean the mantelpiece for some reason.
“You think most music is. Why does this song warrant a comment?”
“How far we’ve come? From what? What marker do they use as the beginning? Human evolution-”
“What do you know about evolution? I would have thought that would have been deleted.”
“It’s always important to know where one comes from.” Sherlock lied. The research he had done about this topic was worth the effort.
John always was.
Chapter 2: Stargazing
I lied. Sorry. Just a few tonight.
John just smiled and continued staring upwards. He didn’t move when a long digit poked at his shoulder. Nor did he flinch when that same hand began to run up and down his side.
“This is ridiculous, John.” Sherlock huffed beside him. John could hear his movements as he rolled back onto his back and feel his body heat as he moved closer.
“This is fun, Sherlock.” John said after a short time had passed.
“This is pointless. There is an observatory only a few miles away. We would get a much clearer view of the stars from there.”
John smirked. “True. But would I be able to do this-” John suddenly grabbed the arm closest to him, and rolled to be on top of Sherlock, “in an observatory.” He looked down at his pinned partner, who had a surprised look on his face.
It faded into a smirk. With a quick twist, Sherlock freed his arm and rolled John onto his back. John’s training kicked in, and the pair began to roll over and over.
Finally it ended in the same position it had started, with a grass covered John atop Sherlock.
“You see now?” John asked. Sherlock ignored him, and leaned up for a kiss.
Chapter 3: A hat is eaten
“Arthur, what is that?”
Arthur moved further into the flight deck and both pilots had to fight the urge to move away from him. They wouldn’t have bothered but the instruments were there making movement in that direction hard.
“It’s my new dish! Edible hat.” Arthur said. “I know this flight isn’t long enough for a meal but I cooked this at home and Mum banned it so I thought I would let you guys try it.”
Arthur offered Martin what was, by Arthur’s standards, a very good likeness of a hat. Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t even close to identifying what the hat was made of.
“Arthur, how did you get it to look like a hat?” Douglas asked.
“Easy! I made a hat, covered it in pasta and cheese then cooked it.”
Martin and Douglas exchanged glances.
“Did you remove the hat? Before you cooked it. Did you remove the hat?” Martin asked.
“Oh. No. Was I supposed to?”
Chapter 4: Defend
“Hey! You!” Martin kept walking, ignoring the voices calling out behind him. They weren’t calling for him, no one ever did.
He did pick up his pace. Sherlock was due to arrive in Fitton soon and while getting home wouldn’t make him come faster it would make Martin feel like it would.
Something hit him hard from behind and Martin tripped, throwing his hands out in front of him to break his fall. He rolled over to see two kids from the year above his standing over him.
“We were talking to you! You look at us when we’re talking to you!” The taller of the two made a threatening step towards him and Martin flinched to their amusement.
“What do you want?” He asked, fear in his voice. The street was deserted apart from them, which explained why he was suddenly their target after years of invisibility.
He seemed to have confused his attackers. “We…ah…you…You’re a freak! Always reading about your bloody planes.” The taller one declared, having finally found an insult for Martin.
“Yeah, And a bastard!” Something cold ran through Martin’s veins. His parents had been very careful to keep all details about Martin’s parentage from their neighbours. While they had succeeded, Martin was aware of the insults able to describe him courtesy of Mrs Holmes.
The shorter one smirked. “Simon told me. It means your Dad isn’t your Dad and your Mum was a-“
His insult was cut off as someone coughed behind him. Both boys spun around to see a tall, curl haired 16 year old standing there.
“I’m impressed. Two idiots like yourselves even knowing the definition of a bastard, well. It’s unexpected.” Both boys went to take a step back, realised Martin was there and froze.
“Yes, Martin is a bastard by that definition. But,” Sherlock bent down so he was in their faces, “it also means he has another older brother, who is quite capable of killing you and making sure they never find the bodies.”
Both boys took off, tripping other another as they brushed past Sherlock. Sherlock watched them go with an amused smile which faded as he turned back to see Martin.
Martin was quietly crying. Sherlock dropped down to his knees and wrapped his arms around his brother.
“They know Sherlock.” He whispered. “Simon told them. Everyone will know and Mum is going to be so mad.”
Sherlock pulled him as close to his chest as possible and just held his brother.
Chapter 5: Reaction
“You live here.” Martin jumps and nearly brains himself on the roof when a voice sounds from behind him. He spins around to see Mycroft standing in his tiny attic flat, swooping a bit to avoid hitting the roof.
“Just to spite us or because you actually enjoy living here.” He continues as Sherlock’s head appears behind him. Martin smiles at the sight of his slightly older brother.
“Yes, yes I know. Red hair. It was for a case.” He brushes past Mycroft and pulls Martin into a quick hug. But he keeps Martin in his arms and runs a critical eye over him. “You’ve lost weight, at least two pounds.” He runs a hand through Martin’s hair. “You’re clearly not getting much decent food so surviving on bare minimum. How much exactly does your new job pay?”
“Nothing Sherlock. Observe the papers on the desk.” Mycroft said. “Martin is running a Man with a Van company, which he would only do if he had no other source of income.”
Martin pulled out of Sherlock’s arms. “Yes, alright. I’m pathetic and I could only get be the captain if I worked for nothing. But I did it! I’m the captain!”
“And if you keep this up, you’re going to end up killing yourself in a few years just to be the captain.” Mycroft snapped. Sherlock nodded, his eyes boring into Martin.
After a few moments, Martin dropped down and sat on his bed. “I just want to fly.” He whispered.
“Come fly with me then.” Mycroft said, moving to stand by the desk. “There are plenty-“
“No.” Martin cut him off. “I don’t want to live off your charity.”
Sherlock sat down beside his brother. He glanced from brother to brother before coming to a decision. “Lunch.”
“What?” “Huh?” Both Martin and Mycroft say in confusion.
“Lunch. Isn’t that what families do when seeing each after not seeing another for long periods of time?” He looks at Martin, who best understands social cues.
“Excellent!” Sherlock grabs Martin and drags him up. “Mycroft can pay. Time for the British government to do something useful for once.”
Mycroft rolls his eyes but does catch Sherlock’s meaningful glance.
If Martin won’t take their offers of help, they won’t offer. But that doesn’t mean they can’t help.
Chapter 6: Accusation
A few more tonight.
“The charged against the accused are as follows-”
Sherlock tuned out the dull voice as the court case began. Generally he was able to produce enough physical evidence in a case to avoid having to testify. In this case, where a frustrated shopkeeper had begun to kill rude customers, was no different.
However the accomplice of the shopkeeper had died of a gunshot injury shortly before being arrested and John was required as to testify as the attending doctor. Not to mention, in a choice between Sherlock’s and John’s evidence for an arrest the prosecutor always picked John’s.
Sherlock wasn’t sure why. His evidence was more reliable.
“The prosecutor may now make its opening statements.” Sherlock groaned as he tuned back in and checked his watch. How much longer could this take? There were experiments he could be doing…
But then John wouldn’t have him here. Sherlock signed, and settled in for a long wait.
Chapter 7: On Caring
This isn't quite set in Thicker than Water, but it's close. Very close.
Caring is not an advantage. That does not mean that you cannot care, but simply that it presents no noticeable benefit.
Mycroft is well aware of this. His job presents many dangers and it is in his best interests, and his brothers’ best interests, that he keeps the fact he cares a secret.
With Sherlock, it is easy. Sherlock needs someone to fulfill the role of enemy, someone to hate and rage at and someone who will always step in to protect him when he requires it. It is easy to be there for Sherlock and not look like he cares. He is just fulfilling brotherly duties, just keeping up appearances.
With Martin, it is impossible. Martin is not his brother, not as far as anyone outside their close circle of family and…well Sherlock and Martin’s friends are concerned. There is no duty there, no need to keep up appearances. Interacting with Martin must mean he cares.
Mycroft cannot appear to care. It is not an advantage.
But by God, he wishes it was.
Chapter 8: On Caring II
Sherlock was cold. He wasn’t heartless, no matter what he protested but he was cold. John was one of the few, perhaps the only person who could see the heart Sherlock had or even believed that he could care.
Of course, this was only when Martin Crieff wasn’t around. The second the short, ginger pilot came within view or earshot of Sherlock there was no one on this planet who could deny that Sherlock cared.
Sherlock hugged Martin freely. He watched the man with a delighted gleam in his eyes and always listened to what he said and sometimes even considered it. Sherlock would freely laugh at Martin’s comments and never ever stopped smiling.
Well, unless Martin was upset. Then Sherlock was by far the scariest older brother in existence and John had met quite a few scary examples.
And John’s was not at all surprised to note that Martin adored his older brother.
Hell, John adored Sherlock (in a different way) and he didn’t get half as many clues regarding how much Sherlock cared as Martin did.
(He did, actually. But as always, John did not observe)
Chapter 9: Snowflake
A few more today.
The snowfall was light, barely visible but Mycroft had always been observant. His life’s work forced him both to be observant and capable of calculating the incalculable- human nature. Of figuring out a person’s pressure points, how to manipulate them…how to control them. He tore his glance from the snow and focused back on his desk.
“My, my! Look!” A child’s cry, a child’s delight. A brother’s delight in something new and I had to smile at my four year old brother as he went outside without putting on any warm things. I grabbed Sherlock’s things and followed him out.
Mycroft grimaced at his phone. Sherlock was looking into a case for him. Even with this unexpected snowfall, he should have had some new developments by now.
“Is it true My? Are all the snowflakes u…u…different?” Sherlock looked up at me, blue eyes wide and his dark curls contrasting with the snow he had fallen backwards into. I don’t remember when he lost his hat, we had been outside for hours.
“Let’s find out.” I said, caught up in his delight.
Mycroft shook his head as a text came through. But it was from March Hare(and he was taking away his assistant’s copy of Alice in Wonderland tomorrow), with the hourly notification of his brother’s whereabouts.
“Sherlock, where are you?” I cry. It had been a half hour since he had suggested we split up (but stay in sight of the house, always in sight and safe) to find a greater selection of snowflakes. Mummy was calling from the backdoor and where was he?
Oh god, where was he?
Frowning at the location, Mycroft reached for the file again. It hadn’t included anything requiring a trip to the Thames unless… He rolled his eyes at himself as he pulled out the relevant piece of paper. A quick glance at the clock assured him he had time to reread the file, to double check for other oversights.
“Sherlock. Sherlock. Can you hear me?”
Hours later and it seemed that every person in the nearby area was in my house or on lands. All these women were sitting with Mummy reassuring her and I could hear Father’s voice among those calling for my brother.
They wouldn’t let me search.
Slightly more secure in the results of the case and where his brother was likely to go, Mycroft sent a quick email to …March Hare… to have the CCTV monitored closely in the relevant areas. And the other side of the city because Sherlock Holmes never did things the easy way.
They found Sherlock five hours after I noticed him missing. He had wandered off our land, gotten lost and only been found by the lucky accident of someone leaving the search to have tea and literally tripping over his unconscious form. He was brought into the house and he was so small and so cold! He couldn’t be alive, not after that.
He was placed in Mummy’s bed and she spent the night holding him. I spent the night reading books on snowflakes, so I could tell him all about them the next morning.
We weren’t allowed to play in the snow ever again.
Chapter 10: Flame
It’s not much of a room, but it’s something. The town was so small, Carolyn was lucky to be able to get anything capable of holding three people, even if someone has to sleep on the floor.
And with a fireplace. Surprising it had been Martin who had refused to even consider taking the flight, which required two pilots, unless he had a guarantee there would be a fireplace involved at some point.
Watching him, huddled under two blankets right in front of the fire Douglas is beginning to understand why.
“Is Sir done yet?”
Martin barely twitched, even as he replied. “I don’t know what you mean, Douglas.”
“Well you have so many blankets, I’m surprised you haven’t roasted yet.”
“Roasted?” Arthur enters the room with his usual levels of excitement. “Are we going to cook marshmallows, like I said?”
“No one is cooking anything Arthur. It’s against the rules. No, Douglas is making pointed comments about the amount of blankets I have.” Martin moved then but only to pull a blanket further up.
“Wow, Skip! That’s a lot of blankets.” Arthur sits down next to Martin and to Douglas’ surprise, Martin leans in so he is resting his head on his friend’s shoulder.
“I don’t like the cold. Never have.”
Douglas grabs his own blanket and moves to sit by his fellow crew members. “You certainly picked a good place to live then Martin. England is very well known for its warm and sunny weather.”
“Shut up.” Martin replies, but he manages to move so that somehow he is sharing Douglas’ blanket without giving up any of his.
Chapter 11: Companion
The criminal underworld feared many things. Different things, depending on the person or organisation. But at the top of all lists were three fears that all who were criminal feared.Three people to be precise.
Jim Moriarty, for obvious reasons. Fear of him could be extended to any who worked in his name but his protection was fickle so many pitied those who worked for him more than they feared him.
Sherlock Holmes was another obvious choice. While they did not fear arrest or death of a few, Sherlock Holmes brought more than that. He could tear apart an organisation in hours, find a leader or lacky in minutes and manipulate the entirety of Scotland Yard to do his bidding. Catching his attention was to be avoided at all costs.
And of course, one could not fear Sherlock Holmes without fearing his companion John Watson. He was death in a cuddly jumper, underestimated until he disarmed you in two moves. To be fair, many criminals figured doctors shouldn’t be able to fight that well. They were supposed to heal, do no harm and all that.
Many criminals were wrong.
Chapter 12: Moran
Not quite set in my series so posting it here.
“So you’re the other brother.”
Martin bites his lip to hide his fear. Sherlock has gone on in great length about Moriarty and occasionally, when he ran out of things to say about Moriarty, mentioned his second in command. Martin may not be his brother’s but he can recognise bad news when he sees it.
“Yes.” He replies proudly. He glances around MJN’s office, which is still deserted.
Moran takes a step forward, into Martin’s personal space. “This is a message for Sherlock. Stop digging.”
Martin takes a step back and pulls himself to his full height. “Is that all?” Moran blinks. “If it is, may I ask if you will still be flying with us today?”
Moran smiles. “Of course. I want to get to know the rest of your crew. I’ve only met them from a distance before.”
Martin can’t hide his shiver of fear.
Chapter 13: Simon Says
“Having fun Douglas?” Martin smirked. His first officer just grimaced at him, having lost his voice in a recent flu. Once Martin was sure it was actually gone, he had taken advantage of the opportunity to tease his friend a little.
“Hi guys! Well, hi Martin. Not that I’m not saying hi to you Douglas but you can’t say hi back and thats-” Arthur burst into the flight deck, already going full steam.
“Arthur!” Martin cried. “Want to play a game?”
“Oh wow! With you? Yes!” Arthur practically jumped for joy.
“Simon Says. I’ll start. Simon Says clap your hands.”
Arthur did so with glee.
“Simon Says be quiet. Simon Says touch your nose.”
The silence lasted a moment before- “How long do I have to touch my nose for Skip?”
“Until I tell you not to! And Simon Said be quiet!”
Arthur drooped. “Oh. I lost?”
Martin gave him a sympathetic smile. “I’m afraid so. But, you just have to get me out and then you’ll get another go.”
“Okay!” Arthur said, then began to stare at the back of Douglas’ head.
After five minutes of staring, Martin spoke up. “Arthur, are you playing?”
“I am. Just trying to think of a really good one.”
Beside Martin, Douglas sighed. This was going to be a long flight.