Clear Motives (Opaque Manipulations)Disclaimer:
Joss owns Buffy, Sherlock (BBC) was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and is based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I write for fun, not for profit.Summary:
Something's going on with Sherlock so John calls on someone who might have an answer...Warnings:
Mentions of possible slashiness. A/N 1:
I wanted to do something with John, as he kept kinda getting pushed to the side a little bit. So...here's John. Again, not as much Mycroft and Buffy, but they do show up. :) Next ones gonna be full on Myffy again, don't worry. :) Though I will be revisiting Dawn, Sherlock, and John in the future, I want to try and stay mostly focused on Mycroft and Buffy. Clear Motives (Opaque Manipulations)
Ever since the case of the Hieroglyphic Serial Killer, as the papers took to calling him, Sherlock had been oddly quiet. Oh, he'd solved the case, helped Lestrade catch the guy, but something about it had, if John didn't know any better, gotten under his skin.
And he had a pretty good guess what that something was.
“Thanks for meeting with me,” he said, sitting down with Dawn a few days after Lestrade had apprehended the killer and Sherlock had gone back to being bored.
“You said it was important—is Sherlock okay?”
“That's why I called,” John admitted, looking over his cup of coffee at the linguist. “He hasn't been himself since the case ended.”
“He might be going through the adrenaline withdrawal,” she suggested.
“No, that's not it,” he dismissed it, even as he internally wondered how she could possibly know about that. “It's more...I think it was Donovan.”
“Sargent Donovan, the woman who called Sherlock a freak,” he clarified and her expression cleared into a scowl.
“Did the bitca say something to him?” Her grip on her cup of coffee tightened.
“No,” he shook his head. “I think getting reprimanded by a Lady of the Garter shook her a bit. She avoided him the rest of the case.”
“Good,” she said with thinly veiled contempt. “Buffy asked Mycroft about her—he's been trying to get Sherlock to press harassment charges for years but Sherlock refuses.”
John didn't know that, but it didn't much surprise him. “He might lose out on being able to work with Lestrade and the division,” he said. “Sherlock wouldn't jeopardize that.”
“That's what Buffy and I figured,” Dawn agreed. “So what's the what?”
“Sorry, Scooby slang,” she grinned at his confusion. “What's going on with Sherlock?”
“I caught him online researching you and Buffy,” he said, deciding not ask what “Scooby slang” was. “And when one of the officers made an...overly sexual remark about your sister, Sherlock glared at him. He doesn't do that usually—in fact, the innuendo goes right over his head most days.”
Dawn grinned. “See, that's where he and Anya differ,” she said. “Anya was all about the sex and money. Less about the smarts. I mean, don't get me wrong, Anya was no dummy, but she didn't care about science or math or anything that didn't have to do with her orgasms and money. She...didn't get social niceties.”
John smiled, even as his cheeks turned red at the twenty-six year old's easy mention of orgasms. “Where is she now?” he asked curiously. Her expression darkened. “Dawn?”
“She died,” she answered, quietly. “Back in '03. When Sunnydale collapsed, she didn't make it out.”
John reached across and covered her hand with his, squeezing gently. “I'm sorry.”
“It's fine,” she said, voice hitched. “It was years ago.”
“It's never fine when you lose someone,” he said. “I lost a bunch of mates in Afghanistan—I still mourn 'em. I still...have nightmares about how they died.”
She didn't say anything but he could see her blinking back tears. He disentangled his hand from hers after another quick squeeze and grabbed one of the paper napkin. She accepted it with a sniff.
“Sorry, usually I don't....it's hard. Her birthday was last week...She would have been thirty. She was dreading thirty. Hers, anyway, Buffy's older and she couldn't wait to see Buffy have to deal with it.”
“Most people fear thirty,” he joked and she laughed. “Your sister didn't seem to like it.”
“Yeah, she forbid us from celebrating her birthday cause she didn't want to be reminded and her birthdays always end up a disaster,” she agreed with a small grin. “We didn't listen to her. Probably should have.”
“Anyway, Sherlock,” she said, getting back to why he'd called her in the first place. “He caught innuendo about Buffy, glared at the guy, and researched us? That about right?”
“Yes,” he agreed. “And I checked the history on my laptop, he forgot to erase it after he used it, which isn't like him either. It was some website on the force of friendship or something like that.”
“He's trying to figure out why we stood up for him,” Dawn said and John nodded. That was the conclusion he'd come to as well. “He doesn't get it.”
“Nope,” he agreed. “So why did you?”
“Besides both me and Buffy have been called freaks too and we hate it?” she asked and he nodded. She sighed. “Buffy's falling for Mycroft. I mean, I get it, sorta. He treats her like a princess but not like a damsel. He knows she's strong and independent and he leaves her to it—but...”
“He treats her like she's the most important woman in the world,” John finished and she nodded.
“Buffy hasn't had that before, not really. I mean, I adored Angel, he was her first love, but they had this Epically Doomed Romance thing going on. He treated her right but...he had a bad habit of acting like she had to be guided in the ways of love. It was very...sixteenth century. He seemed to be stuck in that time period when it came to certain things.”
He got the distinct impression there was more she wasn't saying but let it go.
“Then there was Riley,” she continued. “He was a farm boy and treated her, for a time, like Mycroft did. Maybe not as aristocratic as Mycroft but...she got to be a princess. But he also treated her like the damsel and he hated that she was so much stronger and more athletic than he was. It threatened his manhood or some such rot.”
John couldn't help but chuckle at her. “What?”
“Nothing, its just odd to hear you use common British sayings in an American accent is all,” he said. “'some such rot,' I heard that all the time growing up.”
“I've lived in Europe since I was sixteen, England for most of it, and I grew up with two Brits as my mentor and my best friend—it all rubbed off,” she shrugged, smiling.
“Anyway, I doubt Buffy'd want me to go into the rest of the idiots, but...Mycroft's the first normal guy I've seen who treats her like a princess but respects her abilities too. He doesn't expect her to be in need of saving—she's the one who is usually doing it and honestly, I think it turns him on.”
“What's this got to do with Sherlock,” John asked, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the last part of her comment.
“I'm getting there,” Dawn smiled, like she knew what was going through his head. “Buffy loves Mycroft, whether she's admitted it to herself or not. And as far as the rest of us are concerned, that makes him family.”
“Family of family,” she shrugged. She grew more serious, staring at him. “He might one day move up, but one thing you need to know about us? Family is everything. And no one messes with that. No one.”
“So you stood up for Sherlock because he's Mycroft's brother?”
“And because I kind of adore him,” she agreed impishly. “In case you didn't get that.”
“Oh, I got it,” he laughed. He recalled the first time she'd shown up at the flat. Sherlock had been bored but that had lasted about as long as it took her to drag him out of the flat, arguing about whether or not he was going with her. Sherlock was taller than her but Dawn was stronger and had been taught self-defense by numerous individuals, she later told him, and so Sherlock hadn't stood a chance when she stuffed him in her car.
The two of them had ended up running around London having some sort of paint-ball game with several of Dawn's friends—Sherlock, despite his Mind Palace and ability to navigate London unlike anyone John knew, had resoundingly lost. John was pretty sure they still had a sheet with his body print from where he'd fallen in bed covered in paint.
They'd been doing it once a week ever since.
“Speaking of which, Mrs. Hudson wants to meet you,” he said. “She hates the paint but she wants to meet the woman who manages to get him smiling like he'd just solved a particularly nasty murder without any blood involved at all.”
“She doesn't think...” she said slowly and he frowned. “I mean, she knows Sherlock's not into women, right? Cause I'm not interested in him like that and I'd rather not get matchmaked.”
“I think part of her's hoping but she's still not fully convinced I'm not dating Sherlock,” he said, rolling his eyes.
“Right, because the only one you're fooling is yourself,” Dawn agreed with a wicked grin.
He gave her a look. “I'm not bloody fucking Sherlock Holmes,” he said, only remembering at the last minute to lower his voice so the entire cafe didn't hear. She merely laughed at him.
“If you say so.”
John was quiet a moment before...
“I told you he'd call her,” Mycroft said, smiling smugly from where he and Buffy were sitting in his car, watching John and Dawn goof off and generally act like teenagers until Sherlock appeared and dragged them both with him. Mycroft had a brief moment of concern for Dawn, but she didn't seem all that unwilling when Sherlock grabbed her hand, so he pushed it away. Besides, she was the one who grabbed John's
hand, so, really, it wasn't like the two of them would be completely alone to create chaos. John would reel them in.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Buffy rolled her eyes. “Are you sure it's a good idea to let Sherlock and Dawn work together like this? I mean, the paint-ball is bad enough...”
“John's with them,” he said, repeating his earlier thoughts. “While he doesn't always curb Sherlock's...enthusiasm...he does have a remarkable ability to get my brother to actually think before he acts.”
“Sherlock doesn't strike me as the leap before you look kind of guy,” Buffy said, frowning.
“Which is why he gets away with it, no one expects him to do so,” Mycroft said, frowning. “He's a good actor.”
“I suppose,” she mused as Mycroft turned away from the window and motioned for the driver to go back to the townhouse. “And Dawn has been happier than she's been in a while...”
“Dawn respects Sherlock and whether my brother will verbally admit it, she's just as sharp as he is, which means more to him than anything else,” Mycroft said. “They'll be good for one another—just like John was.”
Buffy stared at him for a moment. “That's why you insisted on the dinner, isn't it?” she asked, blinking. “How? You hadn't even met Dawn!”
“But I'd heard of her from you,” he reminded her simply, taking her hand in his. “From that alone I suspected they'd either hate one another on sight or become good friends...one of the few my brother has.”
Buffy smiled at him, her expression melting into one of understanding and even, dare he think it, pride. “You wanted to give him another friend, someone to look after him.”
“I did,” he agreed slowly. “John's been wonderful for him, as have Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson. One more friend, someone he trusted and cared about, could only be a good thing.”
“You're a good big brother, Mycroft,” she told him softly. His lips quirked and then he looked out the window, a rueful smile filling his face when he caught sight of Sherlock himself staring at the car as they passed him, Dawn, and John.
“He doesn't make it easy,” he said, turning away as they went around the corner and lost sight of him.
“He's the little sibling,” she shrugged, leaning into him, her head on his shoulder. “They never do.”
End Note: This accidentally got put under the wrong category due to my frustration with the school computers freaking out with the solar storm. Sorry. Its since been fixed. :)