Characters: Mycroft, Sherlock, Q, brief appearance by Father Holmes
Warnings/Triggers: illness and injury, references to past drug use
Word Count 2,347
Summary: Three perspectives. Three hospitals. Three Holmes.
Author's notes: Yes, I am yet another person to decide that Q is the third Holmes brother.
I needed to take a step back from the other Sherlock/Skyfall crossover I was writing, and this popped up in the meantime. It's sort of a study in brotherly dynamics.
I've given Q a first name. It is also the name of a character in the Brosnan Bond era, but I don't mean to imply any connection to him. It was just the name I like the most of the
Also, I am aware that the story being read in the first section is probably not age-appropriate, but we are talking about Sherlock here.
Trevelyan is four, Sherlock is seven, Mycroft is fourteen
“What does that do?” Trevelyan asked, for approximately the fifteenth time since they entered the hospital.
“It sends messages from one part of the hospital to another,” Father replied, almost patiently.
“How?" Trevelyan asked.
“It creates a vacuum of air to suck up the message into the pipe and deliver it to where it's going,” Father said.
“How does it know where it needs to go?” Trevelyan asked.
Father sighed, softly, and looked over to Mycroft. “Why don't you run ahead?”
Mycroft smiled and headed down the hallways to Sherlock's room. He'd originally been in with four other children but had been moved to a private room once his painkillers were reduced and he was lucid enough to cause problems. Mycroft knocked on the door and entered. Sherlock was hurrying back to bed but stopped when he saw his brother.
“Oh, it's just you,” he said. He moved a little less recklessly. “I thought you were the nurse. She keeps yelling at me.”
Mycroft spotted him as he climbed into bed. “Perhaps you should do as your told."
“I'm bored,” Sherlock said. “They won't let me do anything fun.”
“You have to keep your arm still,” Mycroft said. “So you don't damage your collarbone any further.”
Sherlock pouted. “I don't like it."
“Then you shouldn't have jumped out of that tree,” Mycroft said.
“I didn't jump, I fell,” Sherlock said. “It wasn't my fault.”
“How was it not your fault?”
Sherlock sighed, impatiently. “Because I didn't know the branch was going to break!” he said. “It looked fine when I got on it. I just wanted to look in the bird's nest. The mother abandoned the eggs. I wanted to study them.”
There was a rap at the door, and Trevelyan came running in, jumping to a stop by Sherlock's bed. Father came in behind him at a more leisurely pace. Sherlock automatically straightened up, putting on a show of being fine.
“Sherlock, do you have a rapid heartbeat?” Trevelyan asked.
Sherlock frowned. “No. Why?”
Trevelyan looked disappointed. “I saw a de-de-fribulator, and Father says it's for people whose hearts are going too fast, and I want to see someone get zapped with it,” he said.
“We don't want Sherlock to be defibrillated,” Father said, with an amused smile. “Because then he'd be very sick. We want him to get well. How are you?”
“Fine,” Sherlock said, quickly. “I've been good.”
Father laughed. “I doubt that,” he said. “I've brought you some books to keep you entertained.” He placed a pile from the library at home on Sherlock's bedside table.
“Good,” Sherlock said. “They only have children's books here. They're stupid.”
“I'm sure they are,” Father said. “I'm going to track down the nurse. Mummy wants a full report on your health.”
“I'm fine,” Sherlock insisted.
“I know,” Father assured him. “I'll be back presently. You're in charge, Mycroft.” He winked at him and left the room.
Sherlock slumped his posture and looked miserable.
“What does this do?” Trevelyan asked.
Sherlock leaned over to look. “It makes my bed go up and down,” he said. “And no, you can't touch it.”
“Oh,” Trevelyan said, disappointed. “Why is your arm tied to your body?”
“It's a sling,” Sherlock said. “It keeps my arm from moving. It's stupid.” He looked to Mycroft. “I'm bored!”
Mycroft sighed, looking around for something to keep him entertained. The books were really the only option. “I could read to you,” he suggested.
“I'm not a child. I can read myself," Sherlock objected. He slumped down in his bed some more. “Fine.”
Mycroft hid his smile. He looked through the pile of books to see what there might be to interest Sherlock. Dickens, Baroness Orczy, Robert Louis Stevenson... He selected a tome of Poe and paged through it.
“My?” Trevelyan asked, his glasses peeking over the top of Sherlock's bed. “May I listen to the story, too?”
“You'll have to ask Sherlock,” Mycroft said.
Trevelyan looked hopefully towards his brother. Sherlock shrugged his good shoulder. Trevelyan smiled happily and climbed up onto the bed. Sherlock sighed, shifting over to make room for him.
“Hurry up!” Sherlock demanded.
Mycroft flattened the book out in his hands. “Very well. 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', by Edgar Allan Poe...”
Trevelyan is 24, Sherlock is 27, Mycroft is 34
Sherlock stepped off the lift and made his way down the hallway toward the room number he'd been given. It wasn't hard to find the right one, as Trevelyan stood in the hall outside with Mycroft, who was obviously trying to get him back into his room. Sherlock stopped and contemplated turning around and catching a train back to London. He'd achieved the truly heroic feat of not having been in the same room as Mycroft for nearly five months. It would be unfortunate to break that streak.
He was there now, however. He might as well at least get a report. It was very annoying that the one time he decided to be familial and do the 'right' thing, his services weren't required.
Mycroft hadn't come by train or helicopter; he wasn't rumpled enough for that. He must have been working close enough to come by car, which explained why he'd beaten Sherlock. He'd lost weight. Must be on another diet.
“Sherlock's here,” Trevelyan slurred.
Mycroft had his back to the lifts and couldn't see Sherlock approach. "Mmmhmm," he said, in the precise tone of voice Father used to use when Sherlock presented a theory that wasn't right. A tone that was encouraging, but suggesting he might want to reconsider his findings. He turned when Sherlock arrived at his elbow. “Oh, Good Lord, you are here. Why?”
“One of his little computer boffin classmates rang me when they couldn't get past your secretary,” Sherlock said. “They found my number in his phone.”
“Yes, we've now had a discussion of when the appropriate time to interrupt is,” Mycroft said. “She's new.”
“Is it Christmas?” Trevelyan asked, looking between them in confusion. Sherlock supposed that would be the only time the three of them would be together. “I don't think I'm wearing any shoes...”
“I take it the surgery was a success?” Sherlock said, ignoring Trevelyan's ramblings. “As he's not dead. All I heard was that he fainted and was being taken to surgery. I assumed it was appendicitis.”
“It was. It apparently was quite a mess in there,” Mycroft said. “He had a rather large abscess, but it didn't burst. It was close, however. He insisted on doing his presentation even though he felt ill.”
“Did he finish it before he fainted?” Sherlock asked.
“Yes. He concluded and then dropped, apparently,” Mycroft said. “Although I don't believe that's the important thing here, Sherlock.”
“I think I'll go to the library,” Trevelyan said. He started to turn and walk away, but both Sherlock and Mycroft held him back.
“The library is closed, Trevelyan,” Mycroft said, in a soothing voice that reminded Sherlock of Mummy. “Why don't you go back to your room and rest? We really should get some sort of note about him and intravenous painkillers into his chart.”
“Maybe we could have it tattooed on him,” Sherlock suggested.
Mycroft smirked. “There's a thought," he said. "I haven't notified Mummy. She's in Korea. I thought I—ahem, we could handle it ourselves.” His phone trilled, and he looked down at it, frowning. “I have to take this.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Oh, of course, the government can't survive for long without you there to hold its hand."
Mycroft glared at him, briefly. “I'll send someone in to stay with him,” he said.“I don't like him unsupervised when he's like this. Especially in a teaching hospital. Half the doctors here look like children.”
Sherlock sighed. “I'll stay,” he said, grudgingly. “I'm here now. It's a wasted day already.”
Mycroft's eyebrows raised in surprise. “Will you be...” he began. His eyes moved to Treveylan's pain pump.
“What? Do you think I'm going to break it open and siphon it out?” Sherlock snapped. “Or maybe just rip his IV out and put it directly into me?”
Mycroft held up a hand. “I didn't mean...” he said. “I apologize. I just thought it might be difficult.”
“It's not,” Sherlock said, through clenched teeth. “I've been sober for over a year now. You're the one inflicting random drug tests on me; you should know that. Go and run the government. We'll be fine. We don't need you.”
Mycroft looked like he was going to say something, but thought better of it. He said goodbye to Trevelyan—who clearly had no clue what was going on—and left.
“I think you're in trouble,” Trevelyan said.
“I don't much care,” Sherlock replied. “Get back into bed. You're being ridiculous.”
“All right,” Trevelyan said. He pointed toward the door, annoyed. “But you'll have to move those bloody cows first.”
Q is 36, Sherlock is 39, Mycroft is 46
Q muttered under his breath as he disconnected from yet another call from Q-branch. He never knew why they bothered calling; the problem was always the same: 'I told you not to touch it and you did'. As was the solution: 'undo whatever you did and stop touching it'. He'd have thought he could get a day or two off without the whole department falling apart.
He resumed work on his tablet, his fingers unconsciously keeping a rhythm that matched up with the ECG monitor at Mycroft's bedside. It was a good rhythm. Even and present. He'd already witnessed his brother being defibrillated at the scene. He didn't fancy seeing it again.
He had a few security cameras' feeds going from around the hospital in one corner of his screen. There were guards posted outside Mycroft's door, but it would be even safer if Q could identify any threats before they got there. So far, there had been no further attempts made on his life.
He spotted Sherlock entering the lobby and tracked his progress along until he reached Mycroft's room. The agents stepped aside to let him in. He stared expectantly at Q.
“No change. For better or worse,” Q reported, once he caught on to what he was supposed to be telling him. Of course Sherlock couldn't ask if Mycroft was all right. He couldn't show that he was concerned. “They're running some blood work. I'm connected to the computer systems. I'll know as soon as the results show up.”
“Where's John?” Q asked.
“He's still at Scotland Yard, supervising the interrogation on my behalf,” Sherlock explained. “I was forced to the leave the viewing room. Then the building. Then the City of Westminister.”
“Did you find everyone involved?” Q asked.
“Yes,” Sherlock said.
“And they're yet living to be interrogated?”
Q smiled. Sherlock came over to the chair he was sitting in and clicked his fingers toward the floor, as though Q were a dog being commanded to get off the furniture. Q weighed the various outcomes of arguing and concluded it was easier just to oblige. He dropped down to the floor next to the chair, bunching his cardigan up behind him on the wall for a pillow. Sherlock flopped down in the chair.
“Your double-oh-whatever is minding the ambassador,” Sherlock reported. "She's been released. Her injuries were superficial. The car she was in wasn't as badly damaged when it was rammed.”
“I know. I watched it happen,” Q said. “And he's not my double-oh. Did you find out who was the intended target?”
“They both were,” Sherlock said. “Some sort of protest over foreign policy.” He pulled a laptop from the messenger bag had with him and shoved it at Q. “Get me into the interrogation room.”
Q assumed an innocent, scandalized voice. “No, Sherlock. That would be illegal.” He connected the laptop to his tablet and transferred some programmes over, then set up a link to Scotland Yard. “There's no audio feed. I've put a lip-reading programme on, but it can be capricious. You'll only be able to see the interrogatee. There's only one camera in the room and your inspector has his back to to it.”
Sherlock took the laptop and settled in, pulling his knees to his chest and resting the computer on top of them. “He's not my inspector."
The next few hours passed quietly, with the exception of Sherlock's derogatory mutterings about Lestrade's interrogation techniques. He draped himself over the chair, his legs hanging over the arm, and Q slid down until he was practically supine, with his shoulders against the wall.
“You look...very domestic,” Mycroft's voice croaked, suddenly.
Q and Sherlock both straightened up. Mycroft had come to consciousness for a few seconds at a time, but this was the first occasion that he'd spoken. When it seemed he was going to remain awake, Q got up and moved to his bedside. Sherlock stayed where he was.
“Damage?” Mycroft asked.
“Minor Traumatic Brain Injury, some internal bleeding, three cracked ribs, collapsed lung,” Q reported. “And I'm afraid you no longer have status as the only one of us with a spleen.”
“I'll...turn in my badge,” Mycroft said. “Others?”
“Your assistant has a broken arm, but is otherwise uninjured,” Q said. “She was on the opposite side of the car to where the impact was. Mr Silver is in the High Dependency Unit and is expected to recover. The ambassador has been released to 007's care. Her driver is fine. Her bodyguard has a broken shoulder.” Mycroft looked like he was having trouble taking this in, so Q simplified: “Everyone is fine.”
Mycroft's eyes moved to Sherlock. “Case?”
“Solved,” Sherlock replied.
“Thank you,” Mycroft muttered. Sherlock nodded. “Mummy?”
“She knows,” Q said. “I'll send her a status update in a moment. She's visiting a convent. Apparently, the nuns are praying for you.”
Mycroft smiled a little under his oxygen mask. “Excellent,” he said. “Very...helpful I'm sure.”
He drifted off again a few seconds later. Q informed the nurse, which, retrospectively, probably would have been more useful if he'd done it while Mycroft was still awake. She came in and examined him, managing to rouse him long enough to verify his mental status for herself.
“I'll stay if you want to go,” Q said to Sherlock, after she'd left. “I can work from here.”
Sherlock shrugged. “I can't go back home,” he said, with a smirk. “I've been banned from the borough until the interrogations are over.”
Q interpreted this as a roundabout way of saying he preferred to stay. He returned to the floor and sent an update to Mummy. Sherlock went back to watching the interrogation.
Mycroft was right; it was rather domestic. At least, as close to domestic as the three Holmes brothers ever came.