turante: (john watson medical badass)
[personal profile] turante
Finally presenting you the fic I wrote as a pinch-hitter for [livejournal.com profile] sherlockmas, a strange hybrid of fluff, humour and case fic (that fails at all three genres) which is some sort of spinoff of another - much longer - fic.
On a side note: I just noticed that I had to create a John/Mycroft tag for this. Really? *double checks lj* I've never... this pairing before?
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Rating: Pg
Pairing: a hint to Mycroft/John with an extra serving of unclearly jealous!Sherlock
Word Count: 3174
Warnings: Careful, I might try to be humorous with royalty.
A/N: written for: [livejournal.com profile] chibifukurou. Quickly betaed by [livejournal.com profile] 2ndskin and co-betaed and britpicked by [livejournal.com profile] crocodile_eat_u really lightening fast! (do I tell you often enough how much I love you, girls?)
Summary: One of the Queen's beloved dogs go missing. A resident of 221B sets out to find it, and it's not Sherlock.
Title: The Case of the Missing Dog


Living with Sherlock Holmes meant that John Watson had learnt to cope with strange things and thus expected even stranger things to take place every now and then. However it didn’t mean that he was prepared for what happened half of the time, just that he knew how and when to brace himself (which was a bit too often for his tastes).

It was a Saturday afternoon when the next odd adventure knocked on the front door of 221B.

Naturally, John went to answer the door and found himself looking at a neat tie knot. He raised his gaze in answer to the very polite, “Good afternoon, Doctor Watson.”

“Good afternoon, Mr. Holmes, please come in,” he said, sidestepping and letting the man inside, who corrected him with a soft, “Mycroft, please.”

“Despite what John might say, you are not welcome here, Mycroft,” came the voice from the sofa, a bored drawl more than anything else.

“Don’t worry, Sherlock. I do not indulge in such foolish illusions.” John rolled his eyes and gestured at Mycroft, showing him where to hang his coat and umbrella even though the man surely knew that by now.

Silence ensued for a while, becoming more than a little uncomfortable, threatening to squash John with its heaviness.

“So, what brings you here, Mycroft?” John asked, escorting him to Sherlock’s armchair; there was no chance he was giving up his own without a reason.

“I have a delicate situation that could use my brother’s help,” Mycroft said, throwing a look at the dressing gown covered shape sulking on the sofa.

“Did you lose the keys to Windsor Castle again?” Sherlock asked, sincerely amused, turning just in time to see his brother’s expression become grim and threatening.

“Don’t mock me; it is a question of National Security, Sherlock.”

John shook his head and went into the kitchen to make tea for all three of them, anticipating a lengthy discussion and a strong headache – at least for himself – by the end of it.

Mycroft decided to relate the details before Sherlock put them into an uncomfortable position again. “One of the Queen’s precious Corgi has gone missing,” he said seriously, staring at his brother who was sitting up and looking into Mycroft's eyes to judge whether he was pulling his leg or not.

“Perhaps you should consider going to the copy shop around the corner and printing some flyers with a reward. I’m sure they would prove crucial in solving your case,” and with a dramatic flourish, Sherlock turned and lay back on the sofa, facing away from his brother.

Mycroft sighed. “Maybe you underestimate the gravity of the situation,” he said calmly, settling himself more comfortably into the armchair facing Sherlock. He then glanced at John, who rushed back into the kitchen to finish preparing the tea, one ear to the verbal sparring taking place in the living room.

“It’s a missing dog. A ten year old with a bone could solve that.”

John returned to the living room ready to save the day with two steaming cups of tea, one of which - John's - was promptly snatched by the younger Holmes, which John ignored out of habit. “How did you discover it was missing? Her Majesty must have a dozen of those dogs...”

“Well, sixteen actually,” Mycroft said, getting up to help him carry the milk, sugar and the remaining cup of tea to the living room.

“Fifteen now, Mycroft. Fifteen,” Sherlock tactlessly corrected him.

“Yes, thank you for your contribution to the conversation. This dog is... special.”

Sherlock raised an eyebrow, his tone somewhere between intrigued and amused. “Does it have a super secret microchip with information vital to the Commonwealth embedded in its collar?”

“Nothing of the sort. What he does have is a nametag that erroneously reads ‘Camilla’.” That said, he slowly stirred his tea, careful not to make the spoon clink against the cup. He removed it and placed it on the saucer. Mycroft drank a sip of tea and then, without raising his gaze or turning his head, addressed John, “And no, I don’t think it would be appropriate to laugh.”

John cleared his throat and let out a strangled, “I wasn’t going to,” lying through his teeth.

Mycroft chose to ignore that comment and went on. “Sherlock, I really need you to help. It is a matter that requires a certain level of... discretion, as you might have guessed. And I’d really appreciate it if you were to put aside our disagreements for the good of the Crown.”

Sherlock waved his hand at him in dismissal, “I don’t think it’s a case that requires my fine intellect. I’m sure you have underlings who can do the legwork for you; now I’ll be eternally grateful if you stop wasting my time.”

Mycroft gritted his teeth but nodded and placed his teacup and saucer down on a side table. “Very well, I’ll leave you a couple of days to think about it.”

Sherlock huffed in annoyance and as Mycroft stood up to retrieve his coat and umbrella, John walked him to the door.

“I might try and make him reconsider,” John said quietly, hoping not to be overheard.

Mycroft smiled a little, “I don’t want to impose on you, Dr. Watson, but your interest is appreciated.”

“I just want to help,” he said, and something clicked in Mycroft’s brain. John could tell because he had seen the same expression flash on Sherlock’s face countless times before – each time he had placed a piece of the puzzle in the right place. “What is it?” he inquired, just barely cautious.

“Perchance you can help more than you think,” Mycroft said, touching his chin with a crooked finger. He had lingered in the doorway for far too long and Sherlock was now curious as to why was it taking him so long to leave. John had a fleeting feeling that he knew what Mycroft was trying to imply, but he wasn’t sure whether he liked the idea or not.

Sherlock stretched to get the violin and Mycroft nodded a farewell to John before taking the door.

“What was all that whispering about?” Sherlock inquired, and John walked back to his armchair, occupying the place he had left.

“I'm not so sure myself.”

***

The following morning John’s phone rang and he picked up at the second ring, since he had nothing to do in that moment. “Hello?” he said into the receiver, anticipating who his interlocutor was.

“Good morning, Doctor Watson. May I steal a moment of your time?”

And as always, it was Mycroft Homes heading straight to the point. “Well, sure. Is this about yesterday?”

“It pertains to that, yes. I was wondering if you could drop by my office to discuss the matter in details.”

“Sure, when should I come?”

He didn’t have to wait for the man’s answer, that part of the conversation having already been foreseen and prepared, “I have an opening in my schedule around lunchtime. Shall we say noon?”

“Noon sounds fine.”

“Excellent. I’ll see you later then.”

John considered what he had to do that day and squeezed in as many tasks as possible into the morning. He did some shopping and tried to tidy up his room – so as to have the rest of the day free of worries.

He left the flat a little too early and started walking towards his destination, enjoying the bright but cold December day.

He was shown around and escorted inside the office by Mycroft’s assistant. He remained standing in front of Mycroft even after the man had insisted that he sit. Eventually the elder Holmes brother stood up as well so as not to feel in an inferior position.

“Doctor Watson, you might have guessed why I have asked you to come here.”

John smiled a half-smile and shook his head slightly. “No, I don’t know,” he replied, downplaying his intuition.

Mycroft smiled and took a thin file from the top of the pile of documents on his desk. He opened it and showed the content to John. “I thought that perhaps you could help me.”

“I’m not sure I can make Sherlock change his mind about this...” he tried feebly, more and more convinced that what the man was asking him to do had nothing to do with that.

“I believe you. But as he said, it shouldn’t prove to be a difficult case and I’d appreciate if you could spare some time to investigate on my behalf. Should you find the dog you’d be generously remunerated, of course.”

“Of course,” echoed John, looking at the photo of the missing dog, the pet’s pedigree and sworn statements about the last time the dog had been seen. He lifted his eyes and stared at Mycroft. “Are you suggesting I investigate?”

“Would it be a problem?”

John shook his head. He was confident that he could find a missing dog. Or at least try. “Not at all. I can start this afternoon.”

“Splendid. My assistant will escort you to the last place the dog was seen.”

John smiled and bade his farewell to the man before exiting the office. He was guided by the visibly bored woman outside and into a car that drove them straight beyond the gates of Buckingham Palace.

John gulped, looking through the tinted windows to the massive gilded fence and impassive guards. “It’s too late to go home and change, isn’t it?” he asked.

The woman, not called Anthea, nodded at him and shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry. Her Majesty is at Windsor now,” she replied, lifting her gaze from the screen of the Blackberry to look at him. “You get off here; I believe you should start talking to the gardener. Good luck,” she added with a smile as he left the car.

John straightened his jumper and crossed the pathway to the man who was obviously waiting for him.

He talked to the gardener, asked a few questions, was handed a leash and ultimately pointed in the direction of the gates. John took one look at the photographing crowd in front of the fence and tried to find a way to discreetly slip out. He walked towards St James’s park to find a nice quiet bench where he could sit to finish reading the reports in the file Mycroft had given him; it was a lot of words for just a dog that had run away.

Halfway through the second report, John passed a hand through his hair, closed his folder and got up to buy himself a cup of coffee. He stopped in his tracks when he crossed paths with a woman holding a leash and shouting “Duchess?!” with some urgency.

‘Great, another missing dog,’ he thought, silently hoping that he could be kept out of that one at least. But the woman had noticed him holding a dog-less leash too and addressed him.

“Have you lost your dog as well?” John opened his mouth to start explaining that it wasn’t strictly his dog, but before he could do so the woman let out another shout of “Duchess!” almost at the top of her lungs and startled him.

“More or less, I’m trying to help a friend find... hers.”

The woman smiled. “Which breed of dog?”

“A Pembroke Corgi.”

“Like one of those the Queen has?”

“Yeah, like one of those.”

The woman started to walk towards the side of the path where the bushes were a bit thicker. She finally spotted her Duchess and cleared her throat. “I believe I found your friend’s dog, too.” The woman said, looking back at him and shooting him a deadly glare. “Having his way with my Duchess!”

John tried to stifle a laugh because it was seriously inappropriate for the moment. “I am terribly sorry,” he said, quickly scanning his file for the name of the dog. (In all that time it had never occurred to him that this was an important detail, and apparently had not occurred to the author of the file, since the name was buried deep inside the report.)

When the dogs were done and the owner of Duchess had secured her dog to the leash once more before she could put herself in more trouble, John approached the now docile Queen's dog and attached the leash to his collar after checking the nametag (which really did read “Camilla”), and finally rummaged through his pockets to find a business card which he handed to the woman. “Take this please, should... the dog be responsible for any lasting trouble.”

The woman read the card, looked up at him and couldn’t help but smile a bit. “It’s nice of you.”

“Oh, no problem at all.” After all, it had been one of Mycroft’s business cards he had handed to the woman.

So John, dog in tow and not knowing what to do, called Mycroft. Soon after, his PA showed up to take the dog – which happily started wagging his tail at the sight of her – and walked him back to Buckingham Palace for him.

And while he was walking back to Baker Street John re-ran the conversation he’d had with Mycroft in his head. The man had been astonished and pleasantly surprised by his swiftness. Of course, it had been luck rather than skill that had allowed him to find the dog, and he had tried to make that clear, but Mycroft had been almost speechless for a few seconds – which in normal people’s world translated as several minutes of stunned silence.

When he got home he found Sherlock busy torturing his violin to emit whining noises.

“What is it today? Symphony of skinning cats #3?” he asked cheerfully as he set up to make himself a celebratory cup of tea.

“My brother called and dropped in that you’re invited to some charity event this weekend, blabbered about it for a good five minutes, but don’t ask me what he said.” He put the violin back to his chin, “I’m not your secretary,” he sighed, starting to play something recognisable.

“Are you going too?” he asked, returning to the living room after turning the kettle on.

“No, he didn’t deem it fit to invite me. Apparently it’s the Queen’s way to thank you for your service rendered.”

“And I doubt that means my tour in Afghanistan.”

“Ironic, isn’t it? You get shot and obtain a lousy pension. You find a dog shagging in the park and get an invitation to a black tie event.”

“Wait a second, black tie?”

Sherlock rolled his eyes at his naivety. “I thought that much was obvious, considering that we’re talking about royalty here.”

John sighed and prepared his tea. “Saying that I don’t have anything to wear would be redundant, wouldn’t it?”

“Not my problem,” Sherlock said unconcerned and resumed playing his violin.

***

A few days later, John found himself in a room full of men in suits and women wearing fancy dresses, more money around their necks and wrists than he ever had in his bank account, making awkward conversation and feeling rather uncomfortable in a rented black suit, his bowtie suffocating him. Suddenly, he didn’t feel quite so rewarded anymore.

Mycroft approached him and for a while they stood in companionable silence, sipping champagne until Mycroft asked him how he was doing.

“I feel a bit out of place, to tell the truth,” John replied, tugging at his collar in a nervous manner.

Mycroft took the empty glass from his hand and placed it together with his own on a nearby table, then guided John towards a terrace overlooking the garden. They went outside to enjoy the crisp and refreshingly cold night air, and John was grateful for the momentary respite from the music and the chatting crowd. He took a big breath full of relief as Mycroft closed the tall windows behind them.

“Better?” the Government official asked to a calmer, if shivering, John.

“Much, thanks. I don’t think I could have resisted much longer inside.” He leant against the balcony and looked inside at the bright lights and dancing people with the detachment and perspective he could afford only by being separated from it all with a wall of glass.

“I don’t usually attend these kinds of events: too much confusion, too many people. Lovely evening, though,” Mycroft commented, looking at the moon.

“Yes, even if I’d rather go home soon.”

Mycroft smiled at him. “I could get you home in half an hour. If you wish.”

“It’s very tempting,” John confessed, smiling back at him.

Mycroft started fiddling with his phone. “I’ll have the car ready in a minute. We’d better go get our coats.”

“We?” asked John, a bit surprised.

“Yes, I’ve been looking for an excuse to slip away unnoticed all evening.”

“Then you’ve found it. Rescue me, please,” John joked as they headed back inside for the cloakroom.

They got their coats and discreetly made their way outside, where Mycroft’s car was indeed already waiting for them, ready to depart.

As the car moved into the almost non-existent late night traffic, John found himself thinking about what Mycroft had told him earlier.

“So,” he started, “if these events aren’t your cup of tea, why did you invite me?”

“I thought you might have enjoyed a night less ordinary,” Mycroft replied with just the tiniest hint of a shrug.

“Maybe next time you should consider something more ordinary, like the cinema.”

“How about a concert, or an opera?”

“Are you asking?” he questioned, giggling in amusement.

“Well, yes,” was the serious reply.

“As a date?” John was suddenly serious, and more than slightly interested, to tell the truth.

“If you are so inclined as to call it a date, then yes.”

John pinched the bridge of his nose at the maze of words Mycroft had created. “This is giving me a headache. This or the champagne I drank. Anyway, are you asking me out on a date?”

“Yes. Would next week be fine?”

John contemplated it for a second or two. “Shouldn’t you start by asking me out to dinner?”

“Dinner then, next Friday at seven?”

John turned to look out of the darkened window so as not to give away the smile that was tugging at his lips. “I should probably let you stew for a bit before saying yes, shouldn’t I?”

“But I know you are eventually going to say yes,” Mycroft replied, extremely confident.

“You're impossible; it’s no fun teasing you.” John complained, then turned to face Mycroft and reply sincerely. “Yes, I will accept your invitation to dinner.”

***

Roughly two months later – precisely on Valentine’s Day – while he was on his way to a restaurant for dinner with John, Mycroft Holmes received a call on his personal phone.

“Hello?” he answered, not knowing who was on the other side of the line – which was an extremely rare occurrence.

“Hi, do you remember when your friend’s dog got lost in the park? Well, can you ask her if she wants some of the puppies?”

Date: 14/02/2011 19:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fengirl88.livejournal.com
awww. lovely dog!fic and adorable detective!John WITH Mycroft...

makes Valentine's Day seem almost bearable.

Date: 14/02/2011 20:00 (UTC)
ext_414334: Arthur (eat me cupcake)
From: [identity profile] turante.livejournal.com
thanks sweetie!
V-Day is almost over ;)
Just imagine what must have happened in 221B.
SH, from the sofa: Going out on a date?
JW, straightening his tie: Yes.
SH, dripping sarcasm: Who's the lucky lady this time?
JW: No lady, I'm going out with your brother.
SH falls off the sofa.

Date: 14/02/2011 20:20 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fengirl88.livejournal.com
*snorts*

Mycroft/John has a strange appeal for me ever since [personal profile] marysutherland's fic. I just hope this Valentine's evening doesn't involve the same jealous!Sherlock complications...

Date: 14/02/2011 20:26 (UTC)
ext_414334: Arthur (Default)
From: [identity profile] turante.livejournal.com
I hope not. I haven't read that many John/Mycroft fics. Actually I only read one and it was never finished. *going to check out marysutherland's*
This idea was in my NaNo even though it was barely a few paragraphs and it ended in a very different way.
(And there Sherlock's jealousy escalates...)

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