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The joy of redemption

BBC Sherlock

Rating PG

Spoilers: for A Scandal in Belgravia

Betaed by the wonderful et-cetera55.

"So you've finally decided to answer my phone calls, have you, Mycroft? Realised you can't hide away forever?"

"Really, Sherlock, there's no need to be melodramatic. I've merely been busy for several weeks with more pressing concerns. Now, to what do I owe the pleasure of your voluntary communication with me?"

 "I want to know exactly why you made John lie to me."

"Ah. I presume you've now had a little chat with John about Ms Adler and her vital statistics. The vital statistics, of course, being that she is alive rather than dead. Which, obviously, you would know, having been the one who ensured that."

"And you lied to John about that, and then got him to lie to me."

"No. John told you Ms Adler was alive and she is alive. How is that a lie?"

"A person lies when he tells something to another person which he believes to be false with the intention of getting the other to believe it to be true."

"I always said you had the mind of a philosopher. Yes, John lied to you. I didn't make him do so, however. I allowed him to."

"Don't quibble, Mycroft."

"It's not a quibble. John told me you wouldn't mind hearing that Ms Adler had been killed. Yet he told you she hadn't been. What does that say about him?"

"That he is extremely inconsistent."

"That he cares about you and so wants to spare you pain. Why did you eventually confront him about his obvious lie?"

"He was so miserable about it. I couldn't think, because he was moping around being upset about Irene being dead, and being upset about not being able to tell me about it, and just...upset."

"And so you told him, and he was happy, and you were happy that he was spared pain. The joy of redemption."

"God, you sound like a greetings card. You may or may not be glad to know that John didn't even hit me when he found out."

"Very restrained of him. I told you at the time that you needed to take him along with you."

"And as I told you, I didn't need to."

"Of course not. What use would you find on a rescue mission in Pakistan for someone who knows some Pashto, is a field surgeon, and who could beat you to a pulp if he ever really cared to?"

"I fixed it, didn't I? I saved Irene. Single-handed."

"And in the most melodramatic way possible. I think that was what really scared her. That you were so busy prancing around being Lawrence of Pakistan that you weren't going to turn up in time. For God's sake, you're not eight anymore."

"You needed me. Irene needed me."

"Yes. I could hardly have agreed to the ransom terms demanded, even with the information she could offer me. Not after Coventry."

"What information?"

"Did it not occur to you, Sherlock, to wonder why Irene was in Pakistan, consorting with terrorists? No, I suppose not, that would count as boring politics. She was trying to acquire intelligence she could sell to me, in exchange for my protection."

"And you betrayed her?"

"Why on earth would I do that? I wouldn't waste such a potential asset. Ms Adler was over-confident, and she made a tactical mistake."

"Not the first time, of course."

"Of course, that's not something you'd ever do, eh, Mr-Phone-in-a-Dressing-Gown-Pocket?"

"Bond Air, Mycroft. Flight 007 as Bond Air?"

"I forgot John had been making you watch old movies. But rather than dwell on the past, let's look to the future. Irene is officially dead and thanks to her efforts – and yours – I have cleared up at least a little of the mess she left behind her. And as for you–"


"You have Irene's phone and you've made John happy. Enough to make any man sentimental, if he was prone to that form of chemical defect. So nice to talk to you, little brother. Goodnight."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
Snark City. Boys to the end.

So many twists and turns and reverse reverse psychology, intimate, intricate, snappy dialogue.

I wish that last line was straight up.

I want stars and ponies and reconciliation but also truth so not gonna happen. :)
Mar. 9th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
It's clear from the scenes in the Diogenes Club in Fall that the difficulties between Sherlock and Mycroft go way back. I can't really imagine true reconciliation between the brothers - at most a fleeting alliance against a shared enemy. And it's also just too much fun snarking at one another. But I am writing a fic at the moment where they end up sort of working together briefly.
Mar. 14th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm, can you really not imagine a reconciliation between the brothers? I can, but only because I already don't get the blatant hostility coming from Mycroft, and I don't believe it ever was there from him. I think he sometimes gets annoyed or even angry with Sherlock, but I don't believe he ever hasn't been willing and able to forgive anything Sherlock has ever done to him. Sherlock, on the other hand, seems the type to hold a grudge against his brother forever. Yet I also get the sense that the reason for the grudge(s) is probably small things that got glossed over and never apologized for, and the resentment just built. Perhaps some of it was things that couldn't be helped-like Mycroft going off to boarding school/college and therefore "leaving" Sherlock behind.
I do think they have a distance to cross, but I also think that because Mycroft's trangressions are likely minor and nothing purposely to hurt Sherlock, that they are not insurmountable. Especially with John in the picture, who can help Sherlock to understand Mycroft never
meant to hurt him, that the things that happened were just "life".
I don't know if we'll ever get a mushy reconciliation on the screen. I don't think "mush" is them, anyway, and even if they got along, I wouldn't expect it. But I would like a clearing of the air and apologies and more civility and even some growing evident closeness. I don't think that's unlikely, but since the show isn't about their relationship, the most we might get is a remark in passing that they talked things out. Which would be a shame, really.
Mar. 5th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
The idea of "Lawrence of Pakistan" being unable to concentrate because John is miserable is very appealing, if annoying to Sherlock and gratifying to Mycroft.
Mar. 9th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
I wrote this partly because one of the many aspects of the ending of Scandal that annoyed me was Sherlock being happy at the end, when John was obviously deeply uncomfortable about lying to him.
Mar. 5th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is wonderful. Just right. And very funny, which Mycroft is rarely rightly written to be.
Mar. 9th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
There's a particular dry, upper class sarcasm that is great fun to write if you hear (or can imagine you hear) the right sort of actor saying the lines: Nigel Hawthorne or Hugh Grant or someone like that. Glad you enjoyed the effect.
Mar. 8th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
I think my favourite exchange is:
"It's not a quibble. John told me you wouldn't mind hearing that Ms Adler had been killed. Yet he told you she hadn't been. What does that say about him?"

"That he is extremely inconsistent."

So Sherlock!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )