Characters: Q, Mycroft, Sherlock, Old Q, some Q-branch minions
Spoilers: A Study in Pink
Word Count 2, 418
Summary: Trevelyan does some prying at Mycroft's behest, and finds out it's a little more personal than he was told.
Author's notes:Set in the Trio 'verse A short little fic that I randomly finished last night (for some reason I had left it with one paragraph to go, so I went 'hey, I should probably write that paragraph'). Set during A Study in Pink. I wanted to do something in the Trio verse during Series 1, as I hadn't covered any of that yet.
Q is not Q yet, and is therefore called 'Trevelyan' throughout. However, Old Q is also there, and is called Q throughout. I realized this may be troublesome, but I couldn't figure out a better way to do it. I picture Old Q being Scottish, if that's helpful to anyone's mental images.
Much of John's backstory is speculation on my part.
“This is Mycroft. Ring me back.”
Voice mails from Trevelyan's eldest brother were always so warm and loving.
He sincerely wished Mycroft would get over his dislike of texting. It would make his life so much easier if he would just text what he wanted rather than leaving a message asking to be rung back. Who bloody well rang back these days?
Trevelyan rang him back over his fag break.
“I need information,” Mycroft said.
“You'll have to take a number and join the queue,” Trevelyan replied.
“I do realize you have duties,” Mycroft said. “It shouldn't take too long, I don't think. It's quite a simple task.”
“Don't you have people who you pay who could do this for you?” Trevelyan asked. “I do have a job for which I receive wages that I should be placing priority on.”
“If you feel I'm abusing you, send me a bill and I will gladly pay whatever fees you think appropriate,” Mycroft said. “I come to you because I know you're the best. No one in my employ has the skills you have. It's only a coincidence that you are also related to me. Believe me, had you grown-up in some other household, I would have recruited you out of high school.”
Trevelyan found that both a compliment and an ominous thought. “What do you need?” he asked, with a sigh.
A picture text beeped into his phone. He took it away from his ear to get a look at it. It was a surveillance image of a man leaving Barts hospital. He had a cane and a buzz-cut. Probably military, judging by appearances.
“If you can find out the name of that person and anything relevant to his affairs or affiliations, I would appreciate it,” Mycroft said.
“Is there something specific you suspect him of?” Trevelyan asked. “Anywhere I should be starting?”
“At the moment, I don't suspect him of anything,” Mycroft said. “I just wish to get an idea of who he is. I'd advise beginning with recently invalided soldiers.”
“I'm on the overnight shift,” Trevelyan said. “I won't be home until the morning.”
“It's not a rush job. It can wait until tomorrow morning,” Mycroft said.
Oh, no, not important. No need to rush or stress about it, but do make sure you do it before you get some sleep or eat or have a life.
“I'll see what I can do.”
Trevelyan let out an unmanly yip as something very cold was pressed to the back of his neck. He jumped and whirled in his seat. Collins was there with a bottle of orange juice in her hand.
“Hey, welcome back to reality,” she said. “I went out on the snack run. I couldn't get you to answer, so I just brought some orange juice for you and a packet of crisps. You need Vitamin C. I think you have scurvy.”
“It is extremely difficult to get scurvy in a First World country,” Trevelyan replied. He took the offered food. “Thank you. What time is it?”
“Er, half one,” Collins said, looking down at her watch.
Well, that had sneaked up on him. He'd just been planning to tweak something in the programme he was writing. That appeared to be four hours ago. Oops.
Collins moved on to make the rest of her deliveries. Q-branch was down to the skeleton crew that dealt with emergencies overnight, but so far this night there had been none. The world had kindly decided to have a nice kip.
The doors slid open and Q himself entered. No one was ever sure what his official hours were, but he seemed to power down between five and one as though he plugged himself into a wall and recharged.
“Hello, chickens,” he said, cheerfully.
“Hello,” the chickens answered, in various states of cheerfulness ranging from not-at-all cheerful to slightly cheerful.
“How are we all tonight?” Q asked.
“Fine,” the chickens answered, in a universal state of not-at-all cheerful.
“Excellent!” Q said.
He paced along to take a look at everyone's work and receive updates on the state of the world. Trevelyan cracked open the orange juice and took a swog from it.
“Good morning, Boothroyd,” Q greeted him, when he arrived.
“Hello, sir,” Trevelyan replied.
“What's going on here?” Q asked, gesturing to Trevelyan's screen.
Trevelyan opened his mouth.
“Wait, I know that look,” Q said, holding up a hand. “You're about to give me an unnecessarily long explanation about it in an enthusiastic fashion that is, admittedly, endearing, but entirely pointless considering I've never understood Cyber Warfare and am too old to start now. Do I need to know anything that's going on here?”
“No,” Trevelyan said.
“All right, carry on,” Q said, and moved away.
Trevelyan decided to let the programme breathe before he worked on it again, otherwise he'd start to make silly mistakes from staring at it until he was bozz-eyed. He ran through his e-mails to make sure nothing important had cropped up while he'd been zoned out. He came across the photo Mycroft had sent him earlier. He had some time now, might as well get it out of the way. He pulled out his personal laptop and set to work.
Within about twenty minutes, he'd matched a military ID card photo to the surveillance photo. Captain John Hamish Watson, MD, of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers. Graduate of King's College, veteran of Afghanistan. Stationed in Germany for a number of years. Huge list of citations and medals. Rather more of a stand-up bloke than Mycroft was usually digging up information about, which made Trevelyan dig deeper in search of something unsavoury that might be the reason Mycroft was interested.
“That looks like something more up my alley,” Q said, swooping in as he often did so that Trevelyan jumped. “What's this?”
“Erm, it's...” Trevelyan said. “It's not quite...”
“Are you using company time to conduct personal business?” Q asked, sternly.
“Yes,” Trevelyan said, because his ability to lie had never been the skill that MI6 had hired him for. When you'd grown up in a house where everyone always knew you were lying, there was never really any point in trying to be good at it.
“All right,” Q said. “Carry on.”
“...Son of Hamish and Dorothy Watson, both deceased,” Trevelyan read off to Mycroft, later that morning. He was going over the highlights with him before he sent the full workup along. “Next of kin is Harriet R Watson, sister. She's quite interesting if you'd like to know what she's been up to.”
“No, carry on with Dr Watson, please,” Mycroft said.
“All right. Enrolled in the army in 2004 after leaving med school--the military helped fund his education. A few tours for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions...two tours in Afghanistan,” Trevelyan went on. “Invalided out of service in late December due to gunshot wound in left shoulder with complications due to subsequent severe osteomyelitis. That's a bone infection, I looked it up. No hope of return to service. Is being housed in a government-funded bedsit and receiving his pension as a monthly salary. Currently seeking psychiatric help for PTSD with a Dr Ella Thompson. She thinks he has 'trust issues'. Direct quote from her case notes. She also thinks he has a psychogenic tremor in his hand as a result of the PTSD. I looked that up; it's part of a conversion disorder, and I looked that up and it means that the body creates genuine physical responses to emotional stress.”
“Any criminal history?” Mycroft asked.
“A few bar brawls,” Trevelyan said. “Reports generally of him trying to break them up than instigate them. Nothing on legal record, but I can--to use someone's favourite word--deduce that he might have a touch of a gambling habit. Otherwise, very clean and not in a way suggesting removal of information. He's a regular bloke, as they say.”
“Hmm,” Mycroft said, thoughtfully.
“And he has a blog,” Trevelyan added.
“A blog,” Mycroft said.
“An online journal,” Trevelyan explained. His brother had never fully made it into the information age, though he wasn't nearly as frustrating about it as some members of his generation. “It's a website designed to host journal entries. His are boring in a way that is very, very sad. And the coding is awful. I mean, the layouts available are basic at best, but the coding to customize them is very counterintuitive and could be streamlined very simply with just--”
“Trevelyan,” Mycroft interrupted.
“Sorry,” Trevelyan said. “Anyway, it seems to be a project forced by Dr Thompson. Not a lot of entries there. A few commenters. A Mike Stamford, medical professor, he and Dr Watson were classmates at King's College. A William Murray, a nurse who served with Dr Watson. And Harry Watson, the sister. Who really is very interesting...”
“Dr Watson is my concern,” Mycroft said. “His extended family may become of interest in the future, but at present, I only need to know about him. Send what you have along, you've done very well.”
“Heading to an inbox near you right now,” Trevelyan said, zipping the files up and attaching them to an e-mail. “What exactly has he done that has you so concerned?”
“Nothing yet,” Mycroft said. “But he seems to be voluntarily considering moving in with Sherlock.”
“Sherlock Holmes?” Trevelyan said, his fingers freezing over the keys in shock. “Our Sherlock? The one who's related to us?”
“Yes,” Mycroft said.
“Huh,” Trevelyan said. “I must have missed something. He doesn't appear mad.” A greater, more terrifying thought hit him. “You had me research Sherlock's life? Mycroft, that's bad form.”
“It's of no consequence,” Mycroft said, breezily. “If you hadn't done it, I would have had someone else do it. It's all the same.”
“It is not,” Trevelyan said. “He knows me. He knows where I live.”
“He has no idea where you live,” Mycroft said. “I doubt very much he has any recollection of your address. And you are both adults now.”
“Yes,” Trevelyan said. “Think of what he can do to me.”
Trevelyan had gone to bed and woken up in time to shower and return to work. No messages were on his phone; neither demands from Mycroft nor angry reprisals from Sherlock. Whatever Mycroft had planned for Dr Watson, Sherlock hadn't put all the facts together yet or, less likely, wasn't upset about Trevelyan's prying. He and Sherlock had an agreement that they wouldn't use their skills to invade the other's private affairs unless life and death were involved. It wasn't an official agreement or even one that was spoken, but it was implicit. Trevelyan had only just managed to patch his relationship up with Sherlock over the past few years, he didn't want to mess it up now. They were at a very pleasant place of largely never speaking to one another, and Trevelyan wanted to keep it that way.
It was another quiet night in Q-branch. Trevelyan was able to finish up his programme from the previous night and he and another chicken swapped programmes for beta testing.
“What do you make of them serial suicides?” one of his fellow chickens asked the branch as a whole.
“Rot,” Q said, firmly. “You can't have an epidemic of people killing themselves in the same manner. Someone very clever and very twisted is out there, doing something very wrong.”
“Does it count as murder if someone does it voluntarily, though?” Another chicken wondered. “Can you really be charged for it?”
“Aiding a suicide,” Trevelyan said. “I believe that's a crime, still.”
“If you hand me a gun and I shoot myself with it, you shouldn't be charged for helping me,” Collins said. “You don't have control over my actions. How were you to know?”
“I suspect the point is the person does know,” Trevelyan said. “Or else he wouldn't be there when all these people decide to do themselves in.”
“Could be a fetish,” one of the chickens said.
“No, if it were just a fetish, the people would have offed themselves in different manners,” Trevelyan argued. “Why would they all choose the same method--the same poison--unless he were egging them on in some manner. It's some form of murder, I can guarantee that.”
“The police don't think they're related,” Collins said.
“Yes, because the greatest minds in the country are employed at Scotland Yard,” Trevelyan said.
“You seem to have a lot of strong feelings about this, Boothroyd,” Q noted.
Trevelyan realized his inner Holmes was showing. He quite hated when he started to sound like Sherlock. “I have a minor interest in local crime.”
It was four in the morning when Trevelyan's phone trilled a text alert.
At least one brother knew how to text. Which wasn't exactly a blessing, as Trevelyan would be quite happy to never hear from either of them. He tapped in a response.
Is that a name or some sort of minced oath?
Name. Ring any bells?
Irish. I think it means 'mariner'. Otherwise, no. Why?
Just curious. NVM.
Trevelyan frowned. 'Never mind' was the opposite of Sherlock's motto. Sherlock's motto was 'mind, mind a lot, mind me, pay attention to me, stop paying attention to anything else that isn't me'.
I could search for more info.
No other known parameters. Pointless.
Besides, you've done enough searching of late.
Ah, so he did know about Trevelyan's search for Mycroft. Why wasn't he yelling?
My complicity was unknowing. Info was withheld.
Always is. It's fine.
Trevelyan felt very anxious now.
Are you quite all right?
Exciting night. Endorphins excellent. You'll read tomorrow in paper.
Well, that was ominous.
BTW. New address. 221B Baker Street.
I'll make sure not to visit.
Trevelyan stifled a laugh.
“Boothroyd, a little less socialization,” Q snapped.
Q was one of three people in the world who could make Trevelyan feel guilty--Mummy and Mycroft being the other. Trevelyan smiled sheepishly and pocketed his phone. It was fine; Sherlock didn't text anything else.
And later, when one of the chickens was reading off the mornings headlines and announced that a culprit had been found in relation to the serial suicides, Trevelyan wasn't very surprised at all.