Characters: Siger, Trevelyan
Word Count 2,589 words
Summary: Siger and Trevelyan spend some time together--without a certain older brother there to interfere.
Author's notes: Set in the Trio 'verse.
Part three of the 'Siger + small Holmes brother' trio, Trevelyan's turn. Mycroft and Siger are here, and Sherlock and Siger are here.
FYI, an ambylopia patch from the era in which Trevelyan (and I) had to wear them looked like this.
I feel like I should say that Siger's views on religion do not necessarily reflect my own.
Siger glared at the squirming child in front of him. “Trevelyan, you are being childish,” he said, firmly. “I am well aware that you cooperate for Mummy, and you will cooperate for me. I will not be put off by your reluctance. Stand still.”
Trevelyan pouted and let Siger hold his face. Siger carefully put the plaster over his good eye and stuck it to the skin.
“Ouch, you poked me!” Trevelyan complained.
“My apologies. I'm rather new to this." HE gave the patch a few more pokes to make sure it was on properly and Trevelyan wasn't able to look around it. “There.”
“Yarr,” Trevelyan said.
“I'm sorry?” Siger said.
“Yarr,” Trevelyan repeated. “That's what you say. I'm a pirate. Sherlock says so.”
“Ah, I see,” Siger said. “Yarr, indeed. All right, so, four hours.” He looked down at his pocket watch to see the time. “You can take it off at 5:34.”
“Mummy puts on a timer,” Trevelyan said. “On my clock.”
“I'd wondered why she'd brought that,” Siger said. It was probably best to set a time for himself, anyway. He was likely to get involved in something and forget. “You go and get it, and I'll set it up for you.”
Trevelyan hurried off to his and Sherlock's room in the Penthouse. Siger winced as he nearly collided with the door jamb. Trevelyan's depth perception was non-existent, as evidenced by the bruises to his arms and the plasters on his knees. Though some of those were probably Sherlock's work. Trevelyan was his favourite test subject.
Siger was presented with a clock featuring Paddington Bear hugging the side. Mycroft's and then Sherlock's and now, after howls and fits of rage from Sherlock, Trevelyan's. Siger set the alarm and placed it on his desk in the office.
“When will Mummy be home?” Trevelyan asked.
“When she's done school shopping with Mycroft and Sherlock,” Siger said. “Which, considering Mycroft's fussiness and Sherlock's contumacy, might be some time.”
“What's contumacy?” Trevelyan asked.
“Defiance,” Siger said. “A reluctance to do what one is asked to do. Being bad.”
“Oh,” Trevelyan said, with a smile. “Sherlock is very like that.”
“Yes,” Siger said. “It runs in the family.”
“What are we going to do?” Trevelyan asked.
That was a good question. What were they going to do? Trevelyan was still too young for school (Dora thought pre-school wouldn't be stimulating enough for her children and only sent them to school when it was legally required of them), so he'd been left behind with Siger. Who could appreciate not wanting to drag Trevelyan around London for all the measuring and ordering and purchasing, but was still slightly annoyed at having to watch him. It wasn't that he disliked spending time with Trevelyan; it was only that this was outside of his designated spending time with the children hours, and he didn't like to mix family and work. He was afraid he'd mess one or the other up.
“I have some work to do,” Siger said. “Do you think you could play quietly for a while?”
Trevelyan looked excited. “All by myself?” he asked. “No Sherlock?”
Siger grinned. “No Sherlock."
Trevelyan grinned back, his lazy eye pointed at his nose despite the patch's effort to make it work properly. Trevelyan was the only child who had successfully fought off the very strong Vernet grey-eyed gene. He had Siger's green eyes, though a lighter shade, not quite rejecting the Vernet influence completely. Green eyes were a Holmes trait. Unfortunately, he also had the Holmes amblyopia, which Siger's father had, but had skipped over Siger to land in Trevelyan. His father had gone blind in his lazy eye. Siger was relieved that there were treatments to prevent that now.
Trevelyan spun in a circle, as though he were overwhelmed with the Sherlock-free possibilities that lay before him. He hurried out of the room, bouncing off the door jamb, but recovering with the agility of someone who was used to running into things. He came back with an armful of toys and bits and pieces of junk and dropped them all on the floor of the office, getting down on his knees to play.
Siger turned back to his desk to do the work he needed to be getting on with, lifting his head once in a while to check Trevelyan in the reflection in the windows. Until he was so absorbed that the world went in on itself and everything that wasn't work was black and he isolated himself in the universe without any outside influence. Then he forgot to check on him and was rudely reminded when a marble hit him in the back of the head.
He whipped his head around to yell at whatever underling wasn't paying attention, but bit his tongue hard when only Trevelyan's squint looked back at him from the floor.
“Sorry,” Trevelyan said, contrite. “My cat-er-pault was contumacy. It hit you.”
Siger had to admit that the 'cat-er-pault' was very impressive for a three-year-old. Trevelyan had fashioned it out of a ruler and Legos assembled as a fulcrum, weighing one end down with some plasticine shaped to hold a projectile.
“Contumelious is the adjective,” Siger said. “Did you build that? By yourself?”
“I'm sorry,” Trevelyan said.
“No, I'm not angry,” Siger said. “I just want to know if you had help building it. Did Mycroft or Mummy help?”
Trevelyan shook his head. “Mycroft told me about, erm, falcons,” he said. “And levers.”
“Fulcrums,” Siger corrected.
“And I made it,” Trevelyan said. “Out of my head.”
“That's very good, Trevelyan,” Siger said. “You're a clever lad.”
Trevelyan beamed brightly. “I have a question."
“Very well,” Siger said.
“Why don't big things fly far?” Trevelyan asked. He picked up a rubber ball. “It won't go, but my marbles go.”
“Big things have more weight, so they need more force to move them,” Siger explained. “The more something weighs, the more it has to fight against gravity to move.”
“Would I fly farer than you?” Trevelyan said.
“Farther. Yes, by quite a lot, I would imagine,” Siger said. “That's a good extrapolation, Trevelyan.”
Trevelyan smiled again. Siger returned to his work, the thunk of marbles hitting various objects keeping him from getting too far into his own head again.
“Do you know David and Goliath?” Trevelyan asked.
“Not personally,” Siger said. “But I know of them, yes.”
“Would my cat-er-pault hurt Goliath?” Trevelyan wondered. “He was hurt with a stone. David hurt him.”
“Where on Earth did you hear that nonsense from?” Siger asked.
“Grandma,” Trevelyan said. “She reads a book with stories about old people.”
Siger sighed. “Yes, I am familiar with that book,” he said. “It's full of utter rubbish.”
“Grandma says it's real,” Trevelyan said.
“Yes, well Grandma would rather have a man in a silly frock or a book that is, at best, meant to be taken metaphorically and not literally, tell her what to do than use any of her limited intelligence to actually make a decision on her own, so clearly her opinion on what is real or not is suspect,” Siger said. He turned to look over his shoulder. “Don't tell Mummy I said that.”
Trevelyan buttoned his lips. He was well-versed in keeping secrets, usually on Sherlock's behalf. In fact, there was one day in which he was so full of secrets that no one could get a single word out of him about any subject whatsoever, and Dora was worried he might have suffered some sort of head injury. It was only once they threatened to take him to hospital that he spilled his secrets. Sherlock was not pleased.
“I think it's real,” Trevelyan said, thoughtfully.
“Well, that's your prerogative,” Siger said. “But you're wrong.”
“It's okay to be wrong,” Trevelyan said, in a matter-of-fact voice. “Then we learn new things.”
“Who taught you that?” Siger asked.
“Mamie,” Trevelyan said.
“Ah, well I suggest you listen to her,” Siger said. “She is the far more sensible grandmother.”
“I don't like being wrong,” Trevelyan added.
“No, me either,” Siger said. “I avoid it as much as possible.”
He put down his pen and booted up the computer to finish up his work. He was testing out a code-solving algorithm developed by Q over at MI6. Siger personally approved of computers and thought they were the way of the future, but was sceptical they would ever be able to replace humans at all forms of code breaking. There was some degree of understanding how language and syntax worked--and understanding how your enemy thought--that a computer couldn't do. Not yet, anyway.
He suddenly found Trevelyan at his elbow.
“May I play?” he asked, pointing to the screen.
“This isn't a computer for playing. It doesn't have games,” Siger said. “It's a work computer.”
Trevelyan was undeterred. “May I work?”
Siger chuckled. “You can watch me work, I suppose,” he said.
Trevelyan decided the best way to do this was from Siger's lap. However, he was small enough for Siger to see over and have his arms free enough to type. Trevelyan pretended to type in his lap, his fingers mimicking Siger's movements. Then they somehow got into a game of Trevelyan trying to catch Siger's hands as they moved over the keyboard, until Trevelyan managed to grasp both of his wrists, giggling.
“I want to make words,” Trevelyan said, pointing at the screen. “I will press the buttons.”
“Just wait a moment,” Siger said. “I need to save my work.” He saved up what he'd done and cleared the screen for Trevelyan. “What words do you need to make?”
“Ermmm...” Trevelyan said. “I don't know words. I know letters. Letters make words, but Mummy has to write them first, and then I know words. I just know letters.”
“Oh?” Siger said. “Well, show me what letters you know. Can you find the T?”
Trevelyan leaned forward and hunted down the T, pressing it with aplomb and putting five on the screen at once. Siger backspaced to only one.
“How about R, where's that?” Siger said. Trevelyan hunted for a while. “An R is a P with a crutch.” If he recalled correctly; it had been a while since Sherlock learned his letters and even longer since Mycroft had.
Trevelyan found the R and put ten on the screen. Siger backspaced again. They found the E, the V, the E again, and then the L and the Y (a very excited stick with its arms in the air, Siger remembered), and the A and the N.
“There, you typed a word,” Siger said. “Do you know what it says?”
Trevelyan stared at it, his mouth moving silently. “It's me!” he said. “It says my name, I know that word. Tra-vel-yan.” He touched the screen. “How does it know my name?”
“You told it your name, with the keys,” Siger said.
“How does it know the letters I pressed?” Trevelyan asked.
“When you press a key, it sends a signal to the computer in a special language and it lights up pixels on the screen,” Siger explained.
“What are pixels?” Trevelyan asked.
“Pixels are dots that form a picture, so that far away it looks like a letter, but up close it just looks like dots,” Siger said.
Trevelyan got up on his knees in Siger's lap and leaned forward to put his nose to the screen. “Oh, I see pixels,” he said. “That's clever. I like that. Does the computer at home have pixels, too?”
“All computers have pixels,” Siger said. “Any screen does. The telly does as well.”
Trevelyan looked utterly amazed by this fact. “I will go and check,” he said, wiggling down from Siger's lap and running from the room. Siger brought up his work again, keeping his ear out for smashes or cries of terror. Trevelyan returned several minutes later. “All the tellies have pixels. People look funny when you look near them.” He climbed up on Siger again and stuck his face right up to his. “You don't have pixels.”
“I should hope not,” Siger said, leaning to see around him. “You're in my way, Trevelyan, I'm trying to work.”
Trevelyan lowered himself to be half-draped across Siger's lap, leaning into his chest and turning his head to be able to see the screen. “How do you know where the letters are?” he asked. “You don't look.”
“Practice,” Siger said. “How do you know where the piano keys are?”
“I just know,” Trevelyan said. “Because Mummy showed me. Did she show you the letters?”
“No, I showed her,” Siger said.
“You showed Mummy something?” Trevelyan asked, apparently shocked.
“Yes, I've shown her more than one thing,” Siger said.
“What things?” Trevelyan demanded.
Siger was sure there were things he must have taught Dora how to do, but other than the fact that he was her first lover, nothing came immediately to mind. And that wasn't the sort of thing one related to one's child.
“I taught her how to check the oil in the car,” Siger said, after a few moments of thought. “And I taught her how to ride a Vespa. And how to do basic plumbing and repairs. And how to mow the grass. All of which she does better than I now.”
“Nothing important, though,” Trevelyan said.
Siger chuckled. “No, nothing important."
“Did she teach you things?” Trevelyan asked.
“Yes, a lot of things,” Siger said.
“What things?” Trevelyan asked.
“She taught me how to polish my shoes properly, and how to talk to people so they're inclined to give you what you ask them for,” Siger said. “And how to fold laundry so it doesn't wrinkle and you have to iron it before you can put it on.”
“Are those important things?” Trevelyan wondered.
“I've found them useful,” Siger said. He tucked his chin a little to rest on Trevelyan's head. “And she taught me how to prioritize.”
“Is that important?” Trevelyan asked.
“Quite important,” Siger said. “Neither you nor your brothers have died yet, which is rather important to both Mummy and myself. That's a result of prioritizing.”
Trevelyan nodded, his hair rubbing against Siger's chin. “Do you want to build a track for my marbles?” he asked.
Siger looked at the computer screen and the number of codes he had yet to input. If he didn't do it now, he'd have the rest of the family around, and Dora would want him to come to dinner with them. However, it wasn't often he had Trevelyan all on his own. No Sherlock, as Trevelyan would put it. He saved his work and powered down the computer.
“Where do the words go when they aren't there?” Trevelyan asked.
“Into the hard drive, where the computer remembers them for next time,” Siger said. “Like a brain.”
“I like computers,” Trevelyan said.
“Me too,” Siger said.
“Let's play marbles now,” Trevelyan said.
“Very well,” Siger said.
Trevelyan hopped down from his lap, and Siger put himself down on the floor with him to work on a track.
After all, he had to have his priorities. Dora had taught him that.