Life at Baker Street changed on some aspects for John Watson.
It wasn’t because he discovered Sherlock’s secret and saw Irene Adler changing into a wolf too. Sherlock and she would simply spend the nights of full moon together, sometimes they would hide here in Baker Street and sometimes they would actually go to the country side for three days and find forests to wander at night. The rest of the time was going on pretty normally, or at least as normally as it could go with those two.
No, what changed was that two women were now into their lives. Irene and Sherlock were into what you could call a liberal relationship since ten month now, she would still have clients and Sherlock was free to see anyone he wanted, but they were dating. She would often visit them at Baker Street, she grew fond of that place, of Watson and Mrs Hudson and it was reciprocated. Though at first John was a little suspicious of her, he soon grew to like her. It was actually pretty strange and funny to see Sherlock date and John realized it really take a woman like Irene to handle someone like the detective and his antics.
As for Watson, he was now in a relationship with Mary Mortsan, a woman he met during a case and this time he knew it was pretty special. She wasn’t repulsed by his flat mate like most of his girlfriend had been and she also liked Irene. There had even been some nights when the two couple went out together and it had been kind of awkward especially for Sherlock but enjoyable nonetheless. Irene suggested once that they could try a foursome but they both refused. He was starting to build new projects for her and Mary too, and they might try to find a flat for both of them. He would still work with Sherlock however, nothing would change that.
One evening, Sherlock came back home with Irene and some raw meat and John remembered it was the next full moon tonight.
“I see you took your dinner.”
“You should definitely try it one day,” Irene suggested (John wasn’t sure if she was joking or not)
“Nope. In fact each time I see you two eat, I feel the wish to go vegan.”
“It’s part of being a wolf John,” Sherlock said quite annoyed at the way his flat mate could still feel shocked by such things.
“And you didn’t see us actually hunting and devouring a prey, it’s definitely something else.”
John winced at Irene’s remark; he didn’t really want to imagine that. It wasn’t the fact he was disgusted by blood or anything else, he was a doctor and a soldier after all, no it was just the fact he knew it was them. Irene took place in the couch and sighed.
“My new business is going well but it’s definitely not easy sometimes. One of my girls got problems with a client who started to harass her. ”
Recently Irene decided to stop being a prostitute herself and instead started a new agency of high-class call girls. She was taking less and less clients and spending more time on this new business. She knew she couldn’t continue to sell her body all her life, after all she would get eventually older and she’d rather have another plan before time caught her by surprise.
“He didn’t hurt her, I hope?”
“No but he came to see me, he was furious because he is persuaded that I’m the one keeping them apart. I had to kick him out, it wasn’t nice.”
“I guess that.”
He had no precise idea of what kind of methods Irene would use for that, but he knew it was generally enough to teach a lesson to whoever would go through it.
“How is Mary? I didn’t see her since long.”
“Fine, except that she had to cancel our date tonight, she has to work. Did you want to keep the flat for yourselves?”
“It’s okay with me.”
“You’ll have more time for your blog, let’s just hope you won’t make another massacre of our case,” Sherlock said.
John didn’t even bother to ask what Sherlock didn’t like, because there was always something which would made him protest, yet his friend never asked him to stop.
“You didn’t tell me how you solved your last case by the way,” Irene said.
She always liked hearing about their investigations and Sherlock seemed to love telling those to her. Yet he didn’t have much time to tell her about it because the sun went down and they both changed into wolves.
The evening started well. After the two transformed, John got raw meat out of the fridge and gave it to the wolves, before sitting in his armchair and watch some TV Show. Irene (he had learned to recognize them) went on the couch and started to watch as well and Sherlock lay at her side, though John was pretty sure he wasn’t watching, just thinking. He smiled to them. It was still something to have human-wolves here with him.
Then, they heard someone tap at the door.
Sherlock got up swiftly and went into his room, Irene followed. John locked the door and went to see who was there. Whoever it was, he hoped it wasn’t anything serious. His gut contorted when he thought that it could be another drug bust from the Yard. Those were quite rare but it happened once or twice when Lestrade was pissed and recently, Sherlock did piss him by taking too many liberties with a case.
When he opened the door, he saw Mycroft standing here and he knew things would be difficult for him tonight.
“Hello John. May I come in?”
“Sherlock is not here.”
“Well then I’ll wait until he comes back.”
John let him enter reluctantly; knowing that it would only appear suspect if he refused him to enter and Mycroft wasn’t one to back off, except maybe before Sherlock and sadly the younger brother couldn’t show himself.
Mycroft ignored sat and gave him one of his fake smiles again and the doctor couldn’t help but feel uneasy. Sherlock never told his brother about his secret and John was pretty sure it was wise of him, he wasn’t sure what Mycroft would have done if he knew but it was better not to find out.
“Do you want some tea?”
“Yes, thanks. What is Sherlock up to?”
“I…I don’t know, he just left. Why did you want to talk with him? You have a work for us?”
“Yes, a suspect death among one of our employees. I also thought it was the good occasion to have a little chat with him about his girlfriend.”
John was pretty sure he heard a low growl coming from Sherlock’s room but thankfully, it seemed that Mycroft didn’t notice anything. He would have to remind Sherlock and Irene to be a little more cautious. He could understand however why they were reacting like this, John knew Mycroft didn’t like what was happening between the Woman and his brother. It made him kind of curious because he wasn’t sure why, Mycroft never voiced out his reasons before him.
“You don’t approve their relationship. Why?”
“Well, I don’t think it’s any good. We could all see Irene Adler isn’t exactly the most trustworthy woman ever. I already tried to talk to him about it, but he always refused. Yet I’m not one to give up, as you may know.”
Even though John knew Mycroft wasn’t really wrong about Irene, he couldn’t help but feel quite angry at him. Who the hell was he to judge anyone here? And who did he think he was to try to control Sherlock’s life? Being his big brother didn’t give him the right to do that.
“She did take some pictures and maybe she scared you and your ‘very secret’ clients but otherwise there is nothing to be afraid of, Sherlock perfectly knows who she is. And he is a grow man anyway, even if Irene was trying to do something against him, he would be able to defend himself.”
“She could be trying to use him to get to us.”
“Do you really think she needs that? If I remember well, she has enough to make most of your men go down on their knees.”
“Yes, because of that phone you failed to get.”
“Yes, that’s very phone she still possess and didn’t use after months of relationship with Sherlock.”
Silence settled between them. John made a point and he knew it, and though he would usually prefer to let Sherlock and his brother argue between them and not get involved, this time he decided to go further.
“Mycroft, what is the true reason of your worries?”
At this, the older brother frowned.
“What do you mean?”
“Are you really worried for the safety of your country? Or do you just fear Irene to hurt your brother?”
John Watson wasn’t the smartest man ever, but he was far from stupid and Mycroft just got reminded of that. He wasn’t sure whether or not Sherlock had relationships before, to tell the truth, he was pretty sure his brother had been a virgin before Irene. Seeing him with a woman was something really new and Mycroft didn’t know what to think about that and being unsure really irritated him. Even if Irene had no evil schemes, she could hurt him by leaving him and then…Mycroft didn’t know what would happen.
“Whatever reasons I have, those are not of your concern. I doubt you could understand.”
John huffed and his jaw tightened. Sometimes, he truly despised Mycroft.
“You know…I think there might be some jealousy in this.”
“Really John? Enlighten me, what does your brilliant mind assume?”
In spite of the way Mycroft could intimidate people (John included) the doctor went on. It was time for someone to tell the man some truths, remind him that even if he was the government himself, there were things he had no control over. Sherlock was his best friend and he wouldn’t let Mycroft spoil his love life.
“From what I know, Sherlock is secretive toward you and constantly keep his distances with you, and you hate that. It hurts you because you would like to be closer to him.”
“No need to be a genius to figure that out…”
“Let me finish. Before, you could probably comfort yourself by thinking that Sherlock was asocial, that he was doing this with everyone. But then I came in, and Sherlock got closer to me and also to Mrs Hudson and Lestrade, I bet you never really liked it, but Irene is probably the last nail in the coffin. Sherlock let her get close to another level of trust you didn’t think he was capable of. You don’t like to see him having more and more people in his life, because…”
He stopped there. He was about to say ‘because it reminds you he doesn’t want you to get close’ but John Watson wasn’t someone cruel and if he got a little too far he knew when he should stop. Mycroft was pale and even if he tried to contain his true feelings, Watson knew he hurt him.
The older Holmes was really furious now. Furious because that ordinary little soldier read in him in a way a lot of people couldn’t have. Yes, indeed he had comforted himself for years thinking that his brother couldn’ form any solid relationships of any kind, but he had been proved wrong. And yes, Sherlock had always been secretive toward him, when he was a kid, it was easy to see through him and read him like an open book, but as time passed, Sherlock grew up and Mycroft left his home to start his own life and then piercing his brother’s secrets had been more and more difficult. Since years, he had the feeling Sherlock was hiding something from him, something else than the drug use, something maybe darker.
“I’m sorry Mycroft, I didn’t mean to say that.”
John got no answer and he left the room carefully. He went to check Sherlock’s door, though he knew there was no use to it, he mostly wanted to get away from the other man’s stare. Then he went to prepare tea, he proposed some and didn’t prepare any yet, although he was pretty sure that Mycroft wouldn’t drink any.
Mycroft was still sitting in the living room, unmoving and reflecting over everything that had been said. There was something the doctor didn’t guess and Mycroft was relieved because he would have hated it otherwise: he wasn't only jealous of Irene, he was also envious of Sherlock. For the first time in his life, Mycroft was jealous of his little brother. Even if he denied being interested in that kind of things, Mycroft often wished he had a woman or a man in his life. Not children, he didn’t want any but a companion would have been good, to have someone to share his life and his home with. He had a few relationships before, but none went right. Before Irene, he could think that at least he was doing better than his brother, but now it wasn’t the case anymore.
He had also been jealous when John came in Sherlock’s life, because he didn’t have such a friendship and also because the doctor was allowed to get close to his brother. At first he didn’t think this doctor Watson would necessarily last but he did, and now Sherlock was also having a stable relationship. Maybe those two knew what Sherlock was keeping secret, this secret that Mycroft never pierced out and it was really hurting him.
John put the tea on the table and Mycroft finally spoke before the doctor could.
“Sherlock likes to think of me as an enemy but I only want to help. There is something he never told me, I’m sure of it, something he doesn’t want me to know.”
John felt his gut tighten, thinking that the wolves were in the room beside.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about and even if I knew, I couldn’t rat out a secret.”
This was enough to confirm what Mycroft suspected: John knew but he would remain still so loyal. Not even glancing at the tea, he just got up; he didn’t want to stay here. John watched him walk away silently, feeling sad for this man. A part of him was remorseful for hurting him but he knew it had to be done; otherwise, Mycroft would have hurt them. He wasn’t evil, but he was a control freak and his idea of the best for Sherlock as to keep him under his power. But as John understood a long time ago, Sherlock was untamed and would never be.
He reopened the door and let the wolf out. Both of them rubbed their sides against his legs as a way to say thank you. It was funny, how those two could have such gestures as wolves, even if they were still thinking as humans they would often do some little things like that which revealed their wolfish nature. He just sat back in his armchair, Sherlock looked at him in the eyes and John smiled.
“Protecting your secret isn’t always easy. A part of me wanted to shun Mycroft but I must say I pity him.”
Sherlock emitted a soft growl, as a way to make understand he shouldn’t.
When the morning came, Irene left quite early for her job, and when the two men were alone together, John and Sherlock looked at each other, the detective knew his friend would want to talk about what happened. He was right.
“About your brother…You never want to get closer to him? I mean maybe you can’t tell him your secret but you could spend more time with him.”
“You know Mycroft John, it’s impossible. And honestly I don’t feel such needs, yes we share some DNA but it’s not the reason why I should keep him in my life at any cost.”
“But you’re not indifferent to him. If something really wrong happened to him for example, what would you do?”
“I wouldn’t be indifferent or unaffected. But what we share doesn’t allow more than what we have now, my brother needs to control everything and put me down at any occasion and…He can’t be trusted with my secret. By the way, what you told him…Thanks.”
It was a word that rarely passed through Sherlock’s lips, at least not with so much sincerity. The two of them wouldn’t continue to live together, they would eventually go with their respective girlfriends, but it wouldn’t make them break apart, no.
John realized he didn’t protect only his friends’ freedom and secret tonight, he also protected himself from Mycroft. He wasn’t a wolf himself but he was somehow part of the pack, a pack he needed and loved. This secret was also his.