“There’s no need to make this more uncomfortable than it is, John. As usual, you’re over-reacting due to sentiment.”
Sherlock wished he could make himself believe that John was the only one guilty of that at the moment. So many people thought the Consulting Detective’s emotions were nonexistent or locked safely away. Not so in this particular case.
“Over-reacting? Sherlock, you have a younger BROTHER you’ve never mentioned once!” The tightness in John’s jawline betrayed something much more than surprise. He seemed hurt.
“Half-brother. We didn’t grow up together,” Sherlock answered.
And he’s the reason we didn’t, in fact.
He’s the reason Father had to leave. The reason Mycroft vowed never to marry or have children.
And finding out about him was the reason I upset our Mother.
John shook his head. Sherlock rolled his eyes, then turned and continued down the corridor, letting John all but shout after him as they walked. “He’s still your family, Sherlock. He’s your own flesh and blood, here in London, and you just pretend he doesn’t exist?”
“To be fair, Doctor Watson,” a smooth, youthful voice answered, “that wasn’t entirely his decision. Or his choice.”
John’s mouth fell open as he looked up and saw the person in question.
Even Sherlock had to admit that it looked a bit like seeing one of his older, university-days photographs come to life before their eyes.
The young man looked them up and down, then turned his attention back to the smaller computer screen in front of him.
“Sherlock,” he said.
“Quinn,” Sherlock replied coolly.
“Thank you for coming to the aid of your country. I suppose I owe Mycroft dinner, now.”
Sherlock huffed. “I daresay that could put a strain on your defence budget.”
Quinn smiled, but did not look up from his screen.
Sherlock kept his voice calm and level. “May I ask why you insisted I drag Doctor Watson into this?”
The well-dressed, athletic man standing near Quinn spoke up. “He didn’t ask for him, Mr. Holmes. I did. You’ll forgive me, but I don’t know you. I don’t even know your baby brother here all that well. And I wanted a man on this mission I could trust. A real soldier, not an amateur.” He nodded meaningfully at John. “Good to see you again, Captain Watson.”
John’s expression turned confident, happy. Warm, even.
Sherlock didn’t think he liked that.
Why should this affect me? How has this infernal situation managed to get worse?
“Bond?” An incredulous laugh escaped John’s throat. “Good God, man. What have they done to you? You look like a damn fashion model.”
Bond walked over and the two men clapped each other’s shoulders. Sherlock thought their hands lingered there a bit longer than was strictly necessary, even for former brothers-in-arms.
“It’s just a new uniform, Watson. Same man underneath. Well, a few more scars, perhaps. You have some more of your own, I hear.”
Never you mind John’s scars, Mr. Bond. John’s skin is none of your concern.
“If I may draw your attention to the problem at hand, gentlemen,” Quinn broke in; “We do have some work to do, if you’ve finished flirting.”
He shot Sherlock a knowing glance and raised an eyebrow as if to say, You, too, brother?
It would seem that despite their differences, the Holmes men each had a weakness for brave, strong, patriotic types.