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Holmes comforts (2/4)

BBC Sherlock fic

Rating: 15 (slash, angst, vomiting)

Spoilers: none

Summary: I am hopelessly in love with a killer with serious trust issues, thought Mycroft. Who is also too short for me to be able to kiss him easily. This is really not sensible behaviour for a civil servant.

Part 1 at http://marysutherland.livejournal.com/5280.html; same time frame as Tastes (http://marysutherland.livejournal.com/4346.html)


Mycroft's life continued to be predictably unstable until the afternoon in November when he was sitting in his office briefing John, and suddenly realised, from the ever-increasing pressure in his stomach, that wrapping up the meeting in a couple of minutes wasn't going to be soon enough.

"Excuse me," he gasped, and dashed for the bathroom at the back of his office. It was the one unusual feature: he had no desire for a fancy desk or a deep carpet, but he really did not like communal toilets. He got there just before he lost complete control, and was then grindingly, monotonously sick for what seemed like several centuries. After a while he realised that warm, firm hands were steadying his back and shoulders as he knelt over the bowl. When he finally stopped retching, John helped him up onto a chair, wiped his face, and gave him a drink.

"Came on very quickly, did it?" John asked. Mycroft nodded. "And does it hurt if I press there?" Mycroft shrank away from even the gentle touch on his stomach.

"What did you have for lunch?" John went on.

"A Slim Fast milkshake, and, and some millionaire's shortbread."

"Probably terrible for your system, but not in this way. Have you been feeling OK till this afternoon?"

"I, I wasn't feeling brilliant this morning, but I had to come in. I had important things to do, meetings to attend."

John sighed. "There are idiots and there are stupidly infectious idiots. What you have, almost certainly, is a norovirus. Otherwise known as winter vomiting bug. It's currently spreading rapidly through all the local schools and offices, and you've probably just helped spread it a little further. We'd better get you home."

"I can-"

"You can sit there, while I fix us a car. I am not having you throwing up on public transport, you're enough of a health hazard as it is."


"Mycroft, just sit still and do what you're told for once. Because if you're not going to cause more short term damage to British Intelligence than Al-Qaeda, you need to follow my instructions."


On the way home to Richmond, Mycroft had been concentrating too hard on not being sick to say anything to John. And when they'd got there, and he'd tried to say he was fine, he'd been struck by another wave of nausea. By the time his next bout of vomiting had finished, John had installed himself in the house for the duration.

"You can't stay," Mycroft protested, "I really must ask you to leave."

"I really must ask you to stop being a bloody idiot," said John. "You need someone to look after you. I didn't see anyone at your office rushing to volunteer, I presume your mother wouldn't be up to it, and it would be medical negligence to leave Sherlock in charge of you. So unless you have any other suggestions for someone immediately to hand, you're stuck with me."

"My doctor-"

"Will say you don't need medical attention, you just need rest and fluids and you'll be fine by tomorrow. You need someone now, you need someone who knows about basic hygiene. You've got me. Now let's see if you've got a temperature, because you seem a bit feverish."

He lost track of the time after, everything blurring. The bathroom, the bedroom, the bathroom again, John helping him up, giving him drinks, changing him into pyjamas. And then back on the bed, and it was all falling away...


When he woke up, John was gone and there was a note by the bathroom door.

7.14 am


Have had to go to Norwood, Sherlock has a case. I will try [this had been underlined several times] to come round again later today. Keep on drinking lost of clear fluids, paracetamol for the pain if you need it. Phone me if you get worse. Do not leave the house for 48 hours, or you will be doing the terrorists' work for them.


It was the first time he'd ever seen John's handwriting, the careful precise near capitals of someone who didn't want anyone misreading a prescription. He found himself memorising its appearance for far too long before burning the letter. He was being stupid, he had to concentrate, make sure there was no further risk to John. He texted him rapidly:

Dear John, no need to call round, I have my own doctor on hand. Thank you very much for your help. MH

It was only later that morning that he felt strong enough to go down to the locked room at the back of the house. Reluctantly, he switched on the computer and logged onto the secure network. Maybe, somehow, the watchers would have missed John, or not thought him worth investigating. Maybe they'd got tired, or bored, or were all down with vomiting bugs too. But no, near the bottom of the latest list of people for priority checking, they now had "Watson, John Horatio".

He texted John again:

Dear John, I need to see you urgently, but not at the house. Can we arrange a meeting elsewhere? MH

John's reply was almost immediate:

If you're ill, call your own doctor. If not, what part of 48 hours at home don't you understand? You can buy me a drink after that if you like. John.

It didn't matter, Mycroft realised. The intelligence machinery had been put into motion already. Maybe it was better that John had a few more days in ignorance before he learned about the consequences of that.


"What is going on?" John demanded as he strode into the warehouse to meet Mycroft a few days later. "And why have you brought me here, rather than taking me to a pub? And...are you actually OK, I mean are you over the bug? It must have taken a lot out of you."

"I'm fine," Mycroft replied. "I'm afraid, however, John, that you have been compromised." He sat down; he wasn't going to try looming over John on this occasion. There was a chair for John as well, but John ignored it, standing looking sceptically at Mycroft.

"I take it you're not referring to my immune system," he said, "In which case, you're sounding like a bad Victorian novel. People don't get compromised in real life."

"You stayed the night at my house. There are people who...observed that."

"I've had lots of private meetings with you before. I could have stolen your codes or shagged you silly in your office ten times over if I'd had the urge to. And I stayed the other night for purely medical reasons. There was nothing..." John paused. "Or was there somehow something that someone could make look suspicious? I've heard of a honey trap before, but never a vomit trap. For God's sake, Mycroft, I was trying to help you!"

"I tried to get you to go, John! This isn't my doing."

"Then who is it, and what are they trying to do? Blackmail me, recruit me? What's going on that's got you spooked?"

"It's the CIA," said Mycroft.


"I help them on occasions. As a result, I have certain unofficial access to their systems, their communications systems. From secure devices at my home, rather than anywhere on UK government property. As a result of that, we have an understanding that they will observe the house. Not inside, but if anyone goes in there, they will be logged and checked."

"So the CIA are now checking up on me?" said John. "Can't they just ask you lot for my file, it would save time."

"They probably will," said Mycroft. "And it will reveal details of our previous surveillance of you. Including...certain encounters of your. Sexual encounters."

"Oh yes, you've been tracking me through gay bars, haven't you?" said John contemptuously.

"You knew?"

"Two months ago, I saw this rather nice young man in a club I was in. Slim, blond, not much taller than I was, vaguely intellectual look-"

"- answering to the name of Robert or Robbie," said Mycroft resignedly. "What happened?"

"I asked him if he'd like some action, and he said perhaps in thirty minutes, when he finished his shift."

"While the Service has many wonderful staff," Mycroft said, "we do still have problems with nepotism. We really should not have given Robert Kuryakin a job. But anyhow, John, yes, we've been watching you. Yes, we know that you're gay, bisexual, whatever. Yes, we know that you're playing some potentially dangerous games, hooking up with strange men. And now the CIA will know that as well."

"Well fuck the CIA," said John. "I don't care anymore."

"They could out you."

"I think I might as well out myself anyhow," John said. "I've been thinking about it more and more even before Robert. I mean, given that almost everyone knows or suspects already, MI5, the CIA, probably the Met. And Sherlock must have worked it already, just as I've worked Sherlock out."

"Sherlock isn't interested in sex," Mycroft said automatically, and then added more cautiously, "At least, he never has been."

"No, but he's not interested in men in a different way from the way he's not interested in women. He's really, really not interested in women."

"You may be right." It was disconcerting to feel that John now knew Sherlock better in some ways than he did. But of course, you could never imagine your younger brother...doing things.

"Anyhow, whatever I do won't faze Sherlock," said John. "So I come out, and the CIA can go and fuck themselves. Which they probably do anyhow, to cut down on the surveillance required."

"There's still the..." Mycroft desperately tried to think of an euphemism for 'sex in squalid toilets', "transitory nature of your encounters."

"So I'm guilty of poor judgement about relationships? I'm a flatmate of Sherlock's, that's probably true by definition. I-" John suddenly stopped and looking down assessingly at Mycroft, folding his arms.

"And what's it to you, anyhow? Or is it not just my judgement that's being called into question here, but yours? That you don't want people to think you're gay? That's what's really worrying you, Mycroft, isn't it, concern for your own skin, not mine?"

"No," said Mycroft, and he looked firmly into John's eyes. "I, well, maybe it's time for me to come out of the closet as well."

There was a flicker of a smile in John's eyes and then it was gone.

"You're gay too, are you?" John said coolly. "So it's just me you're embarrassed about . Don't want people to think your taste runs to dodgy ex-soldiers with a commitment problem, that it?"

He had nothing left to lose. "I, I would be honoured if you were interested in me," he forced out, his mouth stumbling over the words.

"Fancy me, do you?" John's voice was grim now.

"I adore you," Mycroft said, and found to his own astonishment that his voice was calm.

"Prove it!" John snapped back.


"You're trying to mess with my mind, but I'm not having it. I've had enough of your damn games, Mycroft! If you really go for me, then prove it."

What on earth do I do? thought Mycroft frantically. Lie on the floor and let him trample over me? He wasn't entirely sure he wanted to get within reach of John at the moment, he had the look of a man just about to snap and invade somewhere. Not the solid coolness of the last time he was here...oh, that gave him an idea.

"Hold out your hand, Dr Watson, John," he ordered, standing up, "Left hand."

"Steady as a rock, you see," said John, "You were right about that."

 "I'm right about a lot of things," said Mycroft, and stretching across, he grabbed John's hand, lifted it and started kissing his palm.

His palm, and then his wrist, and now Mycroft's long arms meant that his other hand could reach out to stroke John's taut cheek, and suddenly they were edging round one another in a circle, and any minute now John was probably going to thump him, but the feel of his warm skin was so wonderful...

"If you sit down," John said abruptly, "it'll be easier to kiss you."

Mycroft collapsed into the chair and John fastened his mouth on his. I'm 42, thought Mycroft, and practically the UK government, and I've never been kissed like this before. By the time John broke away, Mycroft was trembling.

"That proved it?" he managed to gasp out.

"Yeah," John said. "Want to take it further?"

He was compromised already, no time for compromising now: "Yes, I do."

"Somewhere we can go? Nearby? It's a bit uncomfortable here."

"There's an office at the far end. It's not much, but there's a carpet, at least." Thank God John hadn't suggested the toilets, thought Mycroft. He wasn't sure even for him he could have coped with that.

"OK. We need supplies. Is there a condom machine in the toilets?"

"I, I'm not sure."

"I'll check. You go to the office. Got any alcohol, by any chance?"


"I'm fine, but you look like you need a drink, relax you a bit. I'll come and find you in the office." John strode off.

This was presumably what the army was like, thought Mycroft. Well, too late to stop now, time to go over the top.


"I remember there's a bottle of something for medicinal purposes in the bottom drawer of this desk," Mycroft said when John appeared in the office, "but I can't find the keys." For once he wished that he had let Sherlock teach him to pick locks.

"You go over there and get undressed," said John. "I'll deal with this." As Mycroft took off his trousers, he heard the wood of the desk splinter. What had he got himself into? But he couldn't back down now. He rapidly took off the rest of his clothes and then drank a few sips of cheap brandy straight from the bottle that John handed him. John didn't drink anything, and his hand wasn't shaking. He had taken off his trousers and pants, but not his socks or jumper. Mycroft wasn't sure if these were good signs or not.

"What do you want me to do?" he asked nervously. "I...it's been a very long time."

"I'll try and remember," said John. "Come over here and lie down."

It was exhilarating, if rather painful, but it wasn't exactly what Mycroft had hoped for. John was trying to be considerate,  but he was obviously in a hurry, business-like rather than tender. I wonder if he's always like this, thought Mycroft, and then remembered. There probably wasn't much call for slow seductiveness in John's normal encounters. Even as almost of Mycroft's brain was overwhelmed by unfamiliar sensations, a tiny part was thinking: is that what John likes? Can I cope if it is?

He knew he had guessed correctly about John from the way he put on his pants and trousers rapidly afterwards, without ever taking his eyes off Mycroft. Someone used to sex in the danger zone. Mycroft lay where he was on the floor, and tried not to look threatening. Which wasn't hard, because despite everything, he couldn't help having a ridiculously sloppy grin on his face.

John, on the other hand, looked wary and slightly baffled, as he looked down at Mycroft, as if he wasn't entirely sure what was going on, and didn't feel he could ask. The silence between them lengthened, unnervingly. And then John mumbled something that sounded like 'Thank you', and bent down and kissed Mycroft very lightly, not on his mouth, but the point of his chin. He turned, and hurried away.

I am hopelessly in love with a killer with serious trust issues, thought Mycroft. Who is also too short for me to be able to kiss him easily. This is really not sensible behaviour for a civil servant.

Part 3


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
loved this! laughing out loud at Robbie K and the nepotism issue... also this: "No, but he's not interested in men in a different way from the way he's not interested in women. ..." (an important distinction). and Mycroft's ingenious re-use of the warehouse moment with J's hand. splendid kiss as well.
Oct. 21st, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
It's Mycroft's favourite warehouse (as will become apparent in the next section), and it keeps on recurring.

I do worry about the security of the realm though, given that the Service is apparently staffed largely by the emotionally repressed, the incompetent, the surveillance cameramen who really want to be cinematographers (they turn up later), and Mycroft, who is increasingly distracted by the prospect of inappropriate fondling of a war hero. It may all be left to the female operatives to protect our nation. (I should possibly have responded more positively when MI5 tried to recruit me, as they did in 1997).
Oct. 21st, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
looking forward to the would-be cinematographers!
yes, the women will probably have to save the day. again.

nobody ever tried to recruit me, but that's probably just as well. it is hard to be discreet when you keep forgetting what the things are that you're not supposed to be telling anyone...
Jan. 23rd, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
hijacking this comment to agree completely.
Oct. 19th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
My goodness but I want more of this.
It's so very intriguing! I enjoy how you're portraying all of them, despite the fact that I'm a fluff-addict, and this is so... gah, I can't think of better terms than 'interesting' and such. It's praise, trust me!


EDIT: to make a teeny bit more sense, I hope.

Edited at 2010-10-19 08:56 pm (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Ooh! I am still loving this version of Mycroft hugely but am terribly worried about John and his intentions! And, frankly, I live just down the road, literally, from the CIA so am even more worried about their intentions!! This was another delight. Onward i go . . .
Nov. 27th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
I am hopelessly in love with a killer with serious trust issues, thought Mycroft. Who is also too short for me to be able to kiss him easily. This is really not sensible behaviour for a civil servant.

Oh, to hell with sensible! Fuck sensible! You've been sensible long enough! Be PASSIONATE!!!

(Uh. So. I'm loving this.)
Dec. 8th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
'He had the look of a man just about to snap and invade somewhere.'
You offically win everything. This is like the single greatest thing I have ever read ever.
Dec. 8th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it - this is part way through a long Mycroft/John story, so there is more where this came from.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )