Hello, Anon! Apologies I didn’t get to your questions the first time around!
There has been very little, if anything, said about the fate of John and Mycroft’s tenuous alliance (it would be too much to call it a friendship) in the next series. We do know, from the interactive trailer, that Mycroft has continued to keep John under surveillance. He knows all about John’s new life, new girlfriend and terrible moustache - but, I suspect, he has also kept his distance. They have probably not spoken since Sherlock’s supposed death, with John not only blaming Mycroft for the fall, but also viewing him as a traitor.
When John finds out that, not only is his best friend still alive, but the brother that he blamed for his death had helped facilitate the deception, his recriminations will be extremely vocal, to say the least. But, I think, that once John has been able to forgive Sherlock he will be able to forgive Mycroft too, given time.
However, true forgiveness may be much harder won for Mycroft, as he and John were never truly close. It doesn’t appear that Mycroft was invited to John’s wedding to Mary - a possible snub, but Mycroft may simply have been too busy.
Either way, I can’t wait to find out!
AU: Noirlock, Part Two
London, 1960. Following his recent marriage, John Watson returns to Baker Street and to his former partner, the private eye Sherlock Holmes, to find him working a case for Inspector Lestrade. Unbeknownst to them, they have inadvertently acquired something belonging to the mysterious Irene Adler; something she is desperate to get back. Meanwhile, Mycroft Holmes settles the score with Jim Moriarty.
Irene Adler as The Woman
Part One | Part Two
For everyone who has asked me for more Noirlock.
I really like the dynamic between Mycroft and John; it’s interesting. It’s a strange relationship - Mycroft is merely the brother of John’s friend - it’s not a natural association. It’s also not a friendship - John certainly regards Mycroft, at some points, as something of an inconvenience - but there are indications of trust and mutual respect peppered throughout their interaction.
John’s developing relationship with Mycroft has been a subtle thread woven through the background of each episodes; each time the two of them appear on screen together, the nature of their association has changed slightly.
I’ve seen some people very confused by John’s behaviour towards Mycroft during the events of Scandal in Belgravia: assisting him by searching Sherlock’s room, and using the code “Danger Night”, percieving his as somehow a betrayal of Sherlock. But John’s trust in Mycroft and his motives did not manifest overnight. Indeed, it had been slowly building up ever since he found out that, far from being Sherlock’s archenemy, he is merely his overprotective big brother.
Mycroft made an unforgettable first impression. When they meet, in Study in Pink, Mycroft initially leads John to believe him to be an enemy, and John surprised, mouth agape, when he discovers that the sinister man who kidnapped him and made veiled threats in a darkened warehouse, is no more than his friend’s elder brother. A lesser man than John may have held that treatment against Mycroft, but when John and Mycroft cross paths again, he is nothing but respectful to the elder Holmes, now he knows what he is and the position in governance that he holds. He even puts on a suit and tie when he goes to Mycroft’s office! Bless him.
John was never antagonistic towards Mycroft once he correctly identified the difficult relationship between the Holmes brothers as little more than sibling rivalry. John appreciates that what Mycroft does is in Sherlock’s interests, and so will surrender information or search the flat if there is genuine cause for worry. Scandal is the clearest indicator of this - he searches 221b for drugs at Mycroft’s behest, and, later, when he is at Battersea Power Station, expecting Mycroft, he begins to give a report on Sherlock’s grief-like behaviour before Irene appears:
"He’s writing sad music; doesn’t eat; barely talks – only to correct the television. I’d say he was heartbroken but, well, he’s Sherlock. He does all that anyway.”
Although not friends, they do become familiar with one another. After some time has passed, John even feels comfortable teasing Mycroft in the manner that Sherlock does, and bears similar sorts of frustrations with Mycroft’s “power complex” and controlling behaviour. We’ve John roll his eyes with weary resignation as he clambered into the black car accompanied by a beautiful woman - presumably, this happens to John quite a lot, (which explains how Irene was able to fool John; she was using Mycroft’s modus operandi) - and John’s irritation with Mycroft’s unnecessarily shadowy, sinister way of doing things.
Their relationship is not just a one way street, though. Mycroft’s regard for John has been growing throughout the series. He is intrigued by John and, although initially treated him somewhat as though he were an employee, gradually begins to treat him with courtesy and respect.
"Interesting, that soldier fellow."
After, what we can assume to be, several trips to abandoned warehouses or other site of dereliction, Mycroft finally acquiesces and meets John in a cafe; on John’s home tuft, as it were. Later, when Mycroft has John picked up again, he has him brought to the plush surroundings of the Diogenes Club. Finally, we see Mycroft tacitly accepting John on an equal level.
What all this will mean in the wake of Reichenbach is anyone’s guess. Will their tenuous friendliness be irrevocably broken? If, as I suspect, Mycroft’s behaviour is thoroughly vindicated during the events of The Empty House, will John still be angry? Will he be able to trust Mycroft after such an enormous lie? Everything remains to be seen.
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A final note, regarding the shipping aspect: I’ve always found Johncroft to be among the oddest of the ships, and very rarely executed in a way that feels in character, but I am a big fan of Deklava’s Promise to the Living series.
Sherlock and John are Aurors and Mycroft occupies a ‘minor position’ in the Ministry of Magic, running up to the time of the Second Wizarding War
An adaptation of this picture set I made a while ago. Due to Tumblr’s cursed 10-image limitation, I had to sacrifice Moriarty as a Death Eater. Maybe he will reappear some time in the future.
Mycroft & John & Sherlock - a spectrum
I think this is what I love most about the interaction between Mycroft and John.
John derives amusement from the way Sherlock teases his brother, and has no qualms about doing so himself; and yet John still retains the undercurrent of knowledge that Mycroft is the most dangerous man he has ever met.
Lara Pulver as Sherlock Holmes
How did Mycroft end up with that cup of tea, left to cool in front of him, entirely untouched while John slurps on his brew?
Do we think John insisted on buying him a cup of tea when he got his own, to thank him for coming to a cafe for once, ignoring Mycroft’s protestations?
Did Mycroft at least taste it to be polite?
Before he moved in with John, Sherlock had mostly lived alone. He had only ever shared a home with one other person before - with Mycroft, first in their childhood home when they were growing up and, later, when Sherlock first moved to London.
Mycroft has always required complete silence to think, so he found Sherlock’s violin playing to be nothing but a disturbance. Additionally, although Sherlock is now a technically proficient violinist, Mycroft is still unable to divorce his current accomplished playing from the grating way a young Sherlock scraped at strings when he was learning to play. This is also the reason why Sherlock’s playing his violin at Mycroft - twice in series now - is enough to drive him from the flat.
Although Mycroft loves peace and quiet, he would still prefer to hear his brother speaking - that Sherlock would sometimes retreat into silence for days is something Mycroft found incredibly distressing. Mycroft always knew better than to try and coax Sherlock into speaking, but would keep a watchful eye over his brother, as his silent periods usually precipitated manic ones.
The rest of Sherlock’s eccentricities - from the worst of the experiments to his abrupt manner with clients to his unpredictable acts when bored - never bothered Mycroft, as he is prone, in his own way, to similarly abnormal behaviour. That, and their homes were always big enough that they could easily avoid each other and there was room for Sherlock to set up his chemistry set without taking over the whole kitchen. Someone in Mycroft’s employ bought the milk.
Sherlock listed those two negative qualities to John because he honestly thought that was all that made him difficult to live with.