ellerkay: (Sherlock)
[personal profile] ellerkay
Title: Piracy
Fandom: Sherlock
Wordcount: 800
Rating: G
Genre: Gen, young Holmes brothers
Summary: "Initially, he wanted to be a pirate." - Mycroft Holmes on Sherlock, 'A Scandal In Belgravia'
A/N: This was inspired by the massive amount of Holmes brothers feels S3 gave me, but contains no actual spoilers. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nevacaruso, who was instrumental in its inspiration and encouraged me to turn it into fic.



Mycroft debated pretending he hadn’t heard his five-year-old brother’s small voice, coming from just outside his closed bedroom door. This option was quickly denied to him when Sherlock opened the door and walked in. Mycroft swiveled around in his desk chair and glared at him.

“I’ve told you not to come in here without permission.”

“I’m bored,” Sherlock said. “Play pirates with me.”

Mycroft sighed. He should have known he would regret giving Sherlock that book of historical pirate tales for his birthday.

“I’m busy.”

“I’m going to be a pirate when I grow up,” Sherlock declared. “I require practice.”

“That’s your plan?” Mycroft scoffed. “Not exactly a sound career path, brother.” Sherlock scowled at him, and Mycroft regarded him thoughtfully. “What do you know about piracy?”

“Lots,” Sherlock said promptly. “I read your present and all the books the library had on the subject.” He made a face. “Some of them were for children and were very stupid.”

“Naturally,” Mycroft agreed. “I would advise against wasting your time on books like that, in the future. So. Do you know how to sail?”

Sherlock glared. “Of course I don’t.”

“You won’t be much of a pirate, then. I see no reason to play with you.”

“It’s not as though Mummy and Father have a ship. Do you think they’d get me lessons?”

Mycroft shook his head. “Even if they would, they’d probably only be able to get you into a class for children, and you’d find it very dull. But you could learn the theory.”

Sherlock nodded and left the room, looking determined.

“Close the door!” Mycroft called after him, but Sherlock didn’t return. Mycroft sighed and got up to do it himself.


A week later, Sherlock spent almost an hour rattling off what he’d learned about sailing, and demonstrated five different knots before Mycroft stopped him.

“But I know more,” he protested.

“I’m sure you do, “Mycroft said. “However, I think I have the idea.”

Sherlock grabbed the wooden swords he’d brought with him off the floor and offered one to Mycroft, looking excited. Mycroft regarded it silently.

“Can you navigate, Sherlock?” he asked finally.

Sherlock frowned. “There were some chapters on navigation. You just need a compass. It’s very simple.”

“What if you didn’t have a compass?” Mycroft asked. “What if you’d accidentally dropped it into the sea?”

“I wouldn’t do that.”

“You might,” Mycroft said. “You must be prepared for any eventuality, Sherlock.” He turned back to his revision. “Learn to navigate by the stars.”

“What if it’s cloudy?” Sherlock snapped. Mycroft ignored him, and Sherlock sighed heavily and padded out of the room.


After Sherlock could navigate by the stars, Mycroft had him learn weather patterns at sea, jewelry appraisal (“You must have a sense of the value of your cargo, Sherlock,”), the basics of maritime law, and everything else he could think of.

“Come on, Mycroft,” Sherlock whined, a couple months later. “I know everything!” He thrust the sword out at Mycroft, eyes beseeching.

Mycroft rose from his desk chair and took the sword. “You know everything?” he repeated.


“You’re sure you haven’t forgotten anything?”

“Yes, now let’s play! You’re an enemy pirate.”

“No, I’m the British Navy,” Mycroft corrected him.

“All right, you’re the British Navy. Now we fight. Do it properly,” Sherlock said imperiously, readying his sword.

“As you wish, brother dear,” Mycroft murmured. He let Sherlock thrust at him a few times, three years of fencing lessons making it absurdly easy to block his brother’s blows. When Sherlock came at him again, with bright, eager eyes and another painfully inexpert lunge, Mycroft knocked the sword out of his hand and swept Sherlock’s legs out from under him.

Sherlock lay on his back, stunned, for a few seconds, before he jumped up, his eyes filling with tears (of anger, not pain, Mycroft was sure – he’d been careful) which he tried to blink back.

“That wasn’t fair!” he shouted.

“Life isn’t fair, Sherlock,” Mycroft said calmly. “You should get used to disappointment.”

“Just because you’re bigger than me – ”

“There will always be someone bigger, and stronger, and occasionally even someone cleverer,” Mycroft said. “You have to be ready for that.”

Sherlock wiped his nose on his sleeve. Mycroft grimaced and fished a handkerchief out of his pocket to offer to him, but Sherlock ignored it, glaring furiously at him.

“Someday I’ll be grown and I’ll be as big as you,” he declared. “Maybe bigger. And stronger for sure. And I’ll be an expert swordsman and fighter. And then you’ll be sorry.” He kicked Mycroft hard in the shin, then turned and fled the room. “MUMMY!” he bawled as he pounded down the stairs.

Mycroft winced and sat down on his bed, rubbing his leg. “Sorry,” he repeated quietly. “Yes, I’m sure I will be.”

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