It happened entirely as an accident. Or maybe universe’s attempt to make its favorite two person get along better, as universe is rarely so lazy, one of its favorite often says.
Mycroft was visiting 221B to check up on Sherlock as usual with the guise of attempting to dump a case on him. They were bickering as usual, and John was ignoring them and preparing a tea as usual.
The only thing that differed from the norm is that Sherlock accidently swiped a gadget off the table with a bow, and John, who were bringing the prepared tea on a tray, tripped over it. He didn’t fall flat on his face due to his quick reflex, but the teapot flew over the small space and landed on Mycroft’s torso before anybody could react.
The tea sprayed all over Mycroft’s expensive jacket, waistcoat, and shirt. Mycroft hissed at the scalding temperature, and Sherlock abruptly stopped his retort.
“Oh my god, are you okay? Take off those, Mycroft.” John ran over to Mycroft as soon as he regained his balance, and started to unbutton Mycroft’s waistcoat.
Mycroft didn’t resist John’s hand. “I believe I would need to utilize your bathroom, Dr. Watson.” And his smile was slightly strained with pain. He let John work on waistcoat as he got up and shed his jacket.
“This is the way, I believe?” Mycroft asked politely even as he was already moving towards the bathroom, unbuttoning the shirt and carrying his jacket and waistcoat.
John glimpsed at the exposed and wounded area. Thankfully, the burn wasn’t too severe. “Yes, I’ll get salve and plaster. Wash out the tea and keep the water running over the burn, but do not apply it directly. You may want to discard your trouser and pant as well.”
Mycroft seemed begrudging at needing to be naked, but nodded before disappearing into the bathroom. John hurriedly went up to his room to get his first aid kit.
Sherlock, however, was completely still during the whole situation. Soon, he heard the water running, which means Mycroft is naked in there, and the stomping of John’s footstep.
John furrowed his brow slightly as he passed, but didn’t say anything before going in to the bathroom after knocking. The burn wasn’t severe but it was extensive, covering left half of Mycroft’s torso and shoulder. And even though it won’t leave a scar, thankfully, it would still sting for a few days. At least it wasn’t anywhere near Mycroft’s private part.
“I’m so sorry, Mycroft. I should have been more careful.” John apologized again, applying the salve and plaster.
Mycroft quirked his brow. “No need for apologies, Dr. Watson. I know it was my brother’s fault. It was fortunate that you didn’t get injured as well. I am grateful for your medical assistance.”
John smiled at Mycroft for a brief second at his response and went back to finish the wrapping.
Mycroft thanked him politely once more before reaching for his pant and trouser. They are miraculously free of the tea.
John gave him a privacy now that the treatment is over, and when he got back out, Sherlock was still in the same position and expression as before. John furrowed his brows again. “Sherlock, are you okay?” Which should have been completely opposite question considering Sherlock was the one who was free of any risks, but his abnormal behavior worried him a little.
Sherlock snapped back to the reality at John’s question. He gazed at the closed bathroom door for a moment and quickly averted his eyes, giving John a curt nod. He leaped up from his seat to stare out of the window and play the violin before Mycroft comes out partially undressed.
John shook his head at Sherlock’s abnormal behavior, which was saying something considering it’s Sherlock, and sat down on his chair.
Soon, Mycroft came out with his upper body bare and tapping on his phone, carrying his jacket, waistcoat, sleeve garter, and shirt.
Now that he is out of doctor mode, John idly noticed that Mycroft was leaner than he thought. With layers of cloths and Sherlock’s dibs, he must have unconsciously assumed that Mycroft would have some flesh on his bone. But Mycroft without his suit showed only a hint of fleshes, making Sherlock’s usual diet jokes unjustified. Unless Sherlock considers his starved thin and muscled body as a norm.
Mycroft spoke up without looking up, still tapping away something. “I asked Anthea to bring a new suit and she would be here in 10 minutes. I am afraid I have to remain a bit longer, Dr. Watson, Sherlock.”
Sherlock only emitted a noncommittal sound as a response, which was extremely unlike him, just accepting Mycroft’s extended presence. It made Mycroft to look up from his phone and John to glance between the two.
Mycroft furrowed his brow with concern at Sherlock’s behavior. He didn’t protest, he didn’t make any fun of him, and he was trying his best not to look at him. “Sherlock, are you alright?” He took a few steps toward Sherlock, but stopped before reaching him, seeing Sherlock getting tenser as he approaches.
He turned to Dr. Watson with silent question, but Dr. Watson shook his head in confusion as well.
He turned back to Sherlock once again, and caught a glimpse of Sherlock’s gaze reflecting on the window before it was hastily averted. Mycroft’s mouth formed an O, and Sherlock’s violin made an awful sound, as Sherlock knew it was over.
John was still glancing between the two in confusion.
“Sherlock,” Mycroft started softly, taking a couple of steps more to sit down on the couch. Sherlock’s back got even more tensed. “I think you should sit down, brother mine.”
“No.” Sherlock willed his lips to move, the bow still halted on previous position.
Mycroft sighed softly. “Dr. Watson, could you give us a moment?” Mycroft asked politely, and John was nodding before the question was over. However, before he could get up, Sherlock turned abruptly.
“No, he stays. I don’t have anything to say, Mycroft.” Sherlock bit out forcefully and quickly turned back, but he couldn’t help but quickly glance at Mycroft’s partially naked body while doing so.
John did notice the quick glance this time, because he was paying exceptional attention with concern and he is skilled at noticing that kind of gaze. Three Continent Watson wasn’t earned by a poker game.
So he noticed, and he felt his eyes widening and his mouth gaping. He doesn’t know what to say or what to do in this kind of situation. Should he go as Mycroft asked? Or should he be here for moral support or an excuse for Sherlock? He glanced between them helplessly.
“Sher-,“ Mycroft started again, but Sherlock screeched high notes to block out Mycroft’s words. Mycroft and John winced at the sound.
It continued for a few minutes every time Mycroft tried to say something. John was seriously considering escaping from that awful noise, regardless of Sherlock’s request.
Then, Mycroft glanced shortly at Dr. Watson before he stood up suddenly and took three big steps to stand directly behind Sherlock. If not for the angle, John would have thought that they were pressed from head to toe. But no, Mycroft was just standing very closely to Sherlock, and Sherlock completely stilled again.
And Mycroft spoke softly at Sherlock’s left ear. “I think, brother dear, we should talk. Tomorrow, 8 p.m. I will be waiting.” With that, Mycroft stepped back as John heard the front door opening.
As expected, it was Anthea bringing new suit, and Mycroft nodded politely to John before dressing and departing, leaving a frozen Sherlock behind.
John looked over Sherlock a few minutes after Mycroft left, and Sherlock was still frozen in the same position. John wisely chose not to bring up what just happened now. Sherlock seems to be in need of time, and he could wait until tomorrow. He was still not sure what to think of the situation as well, after all.
For the moment, clearing away the spilled tea and tea set seems appropriate course of action.