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"We can't always account for everything, Jeeves," Mycroft reached for another glass, eyeing the older man. "You know that. Family aside, it was done as cleanly as possible."

"Irene Adler," Jeeves says softly, and Mycroft doesn't hide the wince.

"I don't suppose you might have done it better yourself." Mycroft says, then leans back. "She won't last, of course."

"You won't join the hunt," Jeeves says as he takes the last glass.

"She ruined an excellent plan." Mycroft sniffs. "There's no reason not to go after her. Discreetly, of course, but - "

"No." Jeeves puts the glass back down, empty. "The dignity of two nations will not be restored by one woman's death, nor will you move to injure your brother. If you mean to strike back, then I recommend a different course of action."

"Do tell."


"We can't remove him." Mycroft puts down his empty glass, quietly frustrated. "He's too good for that."

"You are reaching for the obvious," Jeeves rises from his chair. "He's found a playmate in your brother. I suggest you encourage that, while taking other - subtler - methods towards replacing his power structures in those countries your worry over so."

"You make it sound simple." Mycroft gets up as well. "When you have a viable solution, drop by the office. We'll talk it over then."

"If you're concerned about funds," Jeeves says sharply. "Then co-opt Moriarty's position. Keep the structures he has in place. There are men capable of managing..."

"You want a job."

"Mr Wooster does not need a valet at the current time."

Ah, Mycroft thinks. Trouble in paradise. He nods, knowingly, thinking of his own affairs. "I'll see to it that my brother gets involved again." It's almost a blow to his pride to think of letting Jeeves back into the service - one of the oldest puppetmasters, and one that would ever-so-politely make him into little more than a figurehead - yet. He knows the extent of Moriarty's reach. It may be possible to wind this just so...

"I'll be here tomorrow," Jeeves says. "At eight o' clock."

"We'll be expecting you," Mycroft promises.