Characters: Sherlock, Q, Mycroft, John
Warnings/Triggers: some mentions/discussions of a dead parent
Word Count 2,866
Summary: Sherlock fulfills his Christmas favours for the year, and accidentally has a family reunion with his brothers.
Author's notes: Set in the Trio 'verse.
I wasn't going to write a Trio-verse Christmas fic, but then this happened. A not very Christmassy-Christmas fic. Apologies for some not very vigilant nursing. It got in the way of the dialogue, so I don't have as much of it as should likely be going on.
Also, apologies to Q. I promise to write something good happening to him at some point.
Trevelyan had always been sickly. Even when he was a baby, Sherlock could remember all those months of him crying all night because of colic. Father only would come home on the weekends. Later, Sherlock would realize that was something his Father had always done and would continue to do, crying baby or no, and indeed was very much the best choice for the family as a whole, but Sherlock's three-year old self had blamed this on the baby.
After the colic came the febrile seizures, and the easily caught colds, and the accident-prone behaviour. Trevelyan couldn't even cross the rocks on the beach at Grandmere's house without breaking a limb. Well, he'd done that once, and they were slippery, but Sherlock's nine-year old self had blamed this on Trevelyan's inadequacies.
Then came the migraines, and Trevelyan constantly in the hospital ward at Harrow, yet somehow keeping up perfect grades, and Sherlock having to keep reassuring Mummy that Trevelayn was fine each time the school rang her. It all happened after Father's death, and Sherlock would later understand that this was how Trevelyan reacted to it, but his fourteen-year old self blamed it on Trevelyan being, in general, the most useless creature that had ever existed.
Sherlock hadn't had much to do with Trevelyan since leaving school, but on most occasions he'd been drawn back in to family affairs, it was because Trevelyan was sick or hurt. Or Sherlock was in trouble, but Sherlock's 17-38-year old selves liked to ignore that.
So, the text message from Mycroft on Christmas morning came as no particular surprise.
T in hospital.
Sherlock glanced down at the screen, and waited for some sort of detail to put this in context. His brother must be in a meeting; he would have rung otherwise, not texted. When no further information came, Sherlock sighed and responded.
Isn't it Xmas? Working too hard, brother. Don't want to raise the BP.
As an afterthought, he added,
What's happened now?
Mycroft's reply came a few minutes later.
Look at you, knowing the date. Well done. Work never stops, you should know that. No details about T. Can't get away. Invoking Christmas favour; check on him, please.
Sherlock pouted and kicked his legs under his chair. He had plans for the day. Everyone was away with family; he had the flat to himself. No one to tell him he was being too loud or his work was too disgusting or too smelly or too likely to kill someone.
Christmas favours could not be ignored, however. Christmas and birthday favours were currency, and refusing to fill one meant not getting yours filled in return. And Sherlock needed favours, from both his brothers.
Civ or spy hospital?
Civ. St Francis.
Well, transferring him to a civilian hospital meant something more than a cold or bumped head. MI-6 liked their employees where they couldn't babble under sedation.
I suppose I can go.
Trevelyan made an exasperated gesture when Sherlock entered the hospital room. “I told them....hnnnn... not to ring the bloody next of kin number,” he said, wheezing like a squeeze toy. “Bloody...hnnn...minions overacting.”
“Pneumonia?” Sherlock guessed.
“Bloody pneumonia,” Trevelyan agreed. “Bloody cold, bloody fuckin'...hnnn... agents needing help. Thirty-six bloody hours trying to...” he broke off into a bad coughing fit.
Sherlock took a casual seat by the bed. “Double?” he said.
“Yes,” Trevelyan said, when he'd found his breath again. “I coughed until I passed out, and then they sent me to the hospital ward...hnnn...then I de-satted so they sent me here by bloody ambulance. Have to get antibiotics and...hnnn...oxygen overnight.” He broke off into another coughing fit. “Mycroft send you?”
“Of course,” Sherlock said. “Your little message system only contacts me if it's what? Two days without Mycroft responding? You've died and no one's cared yet? Something like that.”
“You're the last....hnnn...person to be contacted,” Trevelyan agreed. “Mycroft, then Mummy, then Higgins.”
“You have the concierge at the Penthouse above me on the list?” Sherlock said, not sure if that was insulting or not. Well, he knew it was insulting, he just wasn't sure if he cared.
“When I...hnnn...started at work,” Trevelyan said. “You were--” he paused to cough once more, and Sherlock twitched impatiently. “Not very...”
“Interested?” Sherlock suggested.
“Reliable,” Trevelyan said. “You were still...hnnn...a bit erratic. So...”
Sherlock felt that odd twinge he sometimes had when Trevelyan suggested he wasn't fulfilling all his duties as big brother. It was probably guilt, but Sherlock liked to think of it as annoyance. “Well, I've come, so, Happy Christmas,” he said.
“Thank you, I'm...hnnn...delighted,” Trevelyan said. “Mycroft didn't ring Mummy, did he?”
“I think I would have been interrogated for details by now if he had,” Sherlock said. “You do this so often, it would be impractical to have her run out to mop your brow over every little bruise; he'd be an idiot not to prioritize. More of one, anyway.”
Trevelyan scowled. “I haven't been in...hnnn...hospital since April,” he said, indignantly.
Sherlock smirked and Trevelyan huffed a laugh that sent him into another coughing fit. Sherlock's phone trilled with a message from Mycroft.
Sherlock gave Trevelyan a critical once over before responding.
Dble Pneumonia. O2 prongs, IV fluids. At least four days w/o sleep. No more than a 3 or 4.
“Stop...hnnn...texting about me,” Trevelyan said, when he'd recovered himself. “It's...hnnn...rude.”
Thank you. Favour filled. Leave when desired.
“I have far more interesting things to text about than you; stop being self-centred,” Sherlock replied, as he tapped in 'would anyway' with his thumb, and sent it.
“I may...hnnn...not be a nosy prat, but I know how to tell you're...hnnn...lying,” Trevelyan said.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow. “If that were remotely true, I wouldn't have got away with half of what I did when we were children,” he said. “You're a terrible detector and a worse liar. You've never had any useful skills, I don't know why Mummy didn't return you to the side of the road she found you on.”
Trevelyan's eyes flickered with amusement, but he was unable respond due to another coughing fit. Sherlock was starting to find this tedious, and shifted in his chair before standing up.
“If you're not dying, I'm going,” he said.
He turned to leave, but was stopped at the door by something hitting him in the back of the head. A tissue box.
“Wait,” Trevelyan gasped out.
Sherlock sighed and turned back, folding his arms and leaning against the door until Trevelyan's fit had subsided. His lips were a little blue, and Sherlock flicked his eyes to his monitor briefly to verify he hadn't de-satted to a dangerous level. He hadn't.
“What do you want?” Sherlock demanded.
“I...hnnn...want my spare tablet,” Trevelyan said. “They wouldn't...hnnn...let me take any work with me in the ambulance. Bring me something to do. I'm...hnnn...bored.”
“No,” Sherlock said, simply.
Trevelyan rolled his eyes. “You're not making me...hnnn...use a favour on this?” he said. “It's just fetch and carry.” Sherlock didn't respond. “Fine! I'm using my...hnnn...Christmas favour. Bring me my tablet.”
Sherlock was feeling very put upon, now. Is that what normal Christmases were like? No wonder John came home from seeing Harry in a such a foul mood.
“Where is it?” he asked.
“Home,” Trevelyan said.
“Do you still live in the same place?” Sherlock asked.
“Yes,” Trevelyan said. “Mind the cat.”
“When did you get a cat?” Sherlock asked.
“Nearly two years ago,” Trevelyan said. “You've met her. She was...hnnn....there when you came back from the dead.”
Sherlock had no memory of a cat, but that wasn't surprising. Information like that was hardly useful in life.
“While you're there...” Trevelyan added, hopefully.
Sherlock sighed, to make sure Trevelyan knew precisely how much this was going to cost him in return, and went to play fetch and carry.
Getting through Trevelyan's systems was fun, at least. Trevelyan's mind worked very similarly to Mummy's, which meant the polar opposite of how Sherlock's tended to work. Whenever Sherlock wanted to mess with Trevelyan's electronics, he always had to do the opposite of what he would have done and work backwards from there. He made it into the flat and found what Trevelyan had asked for. He also poked around a little, but there was literally nothing remotely interesting there, and he didn't have time to work on getting into Trevelyan's computers. He tried, of course, but had only passed the first layer of security after twenty minutes, and the second layer made even his brain tired after another five minutes of trying.
Mycroft had arrived in the time Sherlock was gone. He was sat next to the bed, and both he and Trevelyan were laughing about something. Sherlock found how easy they always seemed to be with one another very tiresome. It wasn't that he desired that relationship with his brothers, but there was a degree of feeling the odd one out that he disliked. As though they were united against him on some level.
“Oh, Good Lord, I thought you were being facetious, Trevelyan,” Mycroft said. “You really sent him after your things. And you really went. A Christmas miracle, indeed.”
“It was a favour,” Sherlock said. He tossed the things onto Trevelyan's bed. “He'll pay for it in time.”
“This is a...hnnn....pyjama top, Sherlock, I asked for a cardigan,” Trevelyan complained.
“It will do the same job if you put it on,” Sherlock said. “You should have been more specific.”
“I was,” Trevelyan said. He examined the rest of what Sherlock had brought, which seemed to his satisfaction. “Thank you for...hnnn...trying at least.”
“I brought everything you asked for,” Sherlock objected. “It's not my fault if you're picky.”
Trevelyan popped one of the sweets he'd asked for into his mouth. Something about having a dry throat. Sherlock caught Mycroft staring longingly at them, and so Sherlock took one for himself, because Mycroft couldn't have one. Mycroft rolled his eyes at him, and Sherlock grinned back to show the sweet. He pulled up a chair on the opposite of Trevelyan's bed, and rested his feet in the guardrail.
“Look at us, all together on Christmas Day,” Mycroft said. “We should take a photo and send it to Mummy.”
“No,” Trevelyan said. “She'd...hnnn...faint. Or come to look after me.”
“This is the second time we've been together in four months without a good reason for it,” Mycroft added. “Do you suppose we might be maturing at last?” Sherlock crunched on his sweet. “No, that might be too much to hope for. Still, operating at a more efficient level.”
“I was always efficient, it was you who couldn't keep up,” Sherlock said.
“Yes,” Mycroft agreed. “We're always a step behind, cleaning up your wake of destruction.”
“You enjoy it,” Sherlock said, dismissively. “Without me, your lives would be entirely mundane.”
“One can always hope,” Mycroft said.
Trevelyan spat out his sweet to have another coughing fit, severe enough that Sherlock's eyes went to the call bell and Mycroft had to shove his dislodged oxygen prongs back on his face. He recovered himself before losing consciousness, though looked borderline. A nurse came in to check on him, and got his sats back up with a full oxygen mask, and administered the next dose of medicine. Not soon enough for Trevelyan's fever not to spike and send him into rigors, so that he consented to put on the pyjama top until the chills subsided.
“See?” Sherlock said. “It works fine.”
Trevelyan gave him a withering look. “If you ss-sent me for your...hnnn....c-coat,” he said, his teeth chattering now in addition to the wheezing, “and I c-came back with a j-jacket, you would be all...hnnn...over me about it.”
“Yes, because that would be a stupid mistake,” Sherlock said. “I only have one coat, your little cupboard was full of cardigans.”
“And yet you failed to bb-ring...hnnn...any of them!” Trevelyan said.
“I have better things to do than look through your clothes,” Sherlock said.
Trevelyan raised his hands up in a gesture of resignment, and Sherlock felt very accomplished. It wasn't as easy to get Trevelyan to concede as it was when he was younger. For some reason, he'd hit about eighteen and suddenly found a spine. It was annoying.
“While we're all here,” Mycroft said, in an obvious effort to draw them away from arguing. “Perhaps we should discuss Christmas? It might be easier than our usual e-mail chain.”
“I thought this was Christmas,” Sherlock said. “Isn't it Christmas today?”
“I meant our annual trip to the Ancestral Home,” Mycroft said. “Mummy will want available dates, soon. We all assured her we were too busy today, and look at us now.”
“I would be...hnnn...busy if weren't for the bloody minions,” Trevelyan said. “How did I get to be a boss...hnnn...people like? I've tried so hard to be...hnnn....terrifying.”
“Perhaps they've met you,” Sherlock suggested.
Mycroft chuckled, then cleared his throat to cover it. “In any case,” he said. “Do we have any ideas on when might be a good time?”
“July,” Trevelyan said.
“Never,” Sherlock said.
“I'll pencil those in as tentative,” Mycroft said, with a roll of his eyes. “Sherlock's schedule is fairly irregular, so I know it will be contingent on your work. Trevelyan as well. I should have time free around your birthday, Sherlock. Is that amenable to everyone? Your birthday is January 6th.”
“Yes, I know,” Sherlock snapped, even though he would have had to put some effort into retrieving that fact from his hard drive. It was trivia, and so not kept close at hand. “It will depend, but I have no objections besides the obvious ones.”
“Snap,” Trevelyan added, before breaking off into another coughing fit.
“I'll let Mummy know,” Mycroft said.
Trevelyan's fit wasn't as violent, but he was starting to look tired of it all. He lay back on the pillows with a sigh.
“Do you remember the Christmas Father did this?” Mycroft said. “He had walking pneumonia, and kept coughing until he passed out. All through Christmas dinner, Mummy had to move his plate out of the way so he wouldn't land in it, and then put it back when he was done. He wouldn't go to hospital.” He looked between Trevelyan and Sherlock, waiting for recognition. “No? You might have been too young to remember.”
Sherlock felt all his muscles go tense, the way they did when anyone mentioned Father. His death was too long ago to be an open wound, now, but it had healed into what felt like a bruise near his ribs; something that didn't hurt unless it was poked. So the logical thing was not to poke it, and not to repeat the thing that had caused the injury in the first place. Sometimes it felt like a little pinprick of pain, sometimes it blossomed out so he couldn't breathe. He did his best never to poke at it.
“I remember,” he said, tersely. “I remember it.”
Trevelyan looked like he was trying to remember, his eyes darting back and forth. “We had to move the Mastermind game,” he said. “Right? Because...hnnn...he kept coughing so hard he knocked the marbles out?”
Mycroft nodded. “Yes,” he said. “So, you're carrying on a fine tradition.”
Trevelyan smiled as though this were some sort of accomplishment. He was more relaxed now, and Sherlock gave him about ten minutes before he fell asleep. Sherlock had had enough family togetherness, anyway, and stood up to go. Mycroft did as well, possibly having made the same deduction as Sherlock.
“We'll let you get some rest. Ring if you need anything,” Mycroft said, to Trevelyan. “Take the time off. When you're released tomorrow, I expect you to go home and not back to work.”
Trevelyan scowled. “I'm fine,” he said.
“Stay that way, then,” Mycroft said, sternly.
“Bye,” Sherlock offered.
“Thanks for...hnnn....coming,” Trevelyan said.
Sherlock shrugged. “It was a favour,” he said. “And you'll pay for it.”
“I know. Thanks all the same,” Trevelyan said.
Sherlock left ahead of Mycroft, but got stuck waiting for the lift with him.
“I do appreciate your making the effort,” Mycroft said.
“It was a favour,” Sherlock repeated.
“I know,” Mycroft said. “And you performed it admirably.”
Sherlock twitched, impatient for the lift. “I'll take the stairs,” he said.
“Very well,” Mycroft said. “Happy Christmas.”
Sherlock gave a brisk nod. “Happy Christmas.”
John was back at the flat when Sherlock returned. It seemed a short meal with Harry, but when Sherlock glanced at his watch he realized that he'd left over ninety minutes earlier to go to the hospital, and John had left an hour before that. Still, it meant Sherlock had missed his opportunity to be alone entirely.
“Where did you go?” John asked. He was at the fridge, getting a beer. He couldn't drink with Harry present, which Sherlock thought was stupid, as she didn't make much of an effort to abstain the majority the time, as far he could see.
“Hospital,” Sherlock replied.
“Patient or visiting?” John asked.
“Visiting,” Sherlock replied. “My brother.”
“Mycroft?” John said.
“The other one,” Sherlock said.
“He okay?” John said.
“Yes,” Sherlock said. “I was just doing a favour.”
“You were doing a--Oh, you mean a Favour?” John said, the capitalization evident in his tone. “For which brother?”
“Both,” Sherlock said.
John had just closed the fridge, but opened it again and got another beer. He silently held it out to Sherlock when he came into the living room. Sherlock accepted it, and clinked the bottle against John's. He settled his mind to half-listen to John's impending diatribe about Harry. He only needed part of his brain for that; just enough to hear the pauses and make the appropriate noises.
He used the rest of his brain to take stock. Christmas Day wasn't even over yet and both favours were accomplished for the year. Not bad at all. If this was what normal Christmases were like, he really didn't know why John complained so much.