Anonymous asked you: Something happened between series 1 & 2 concerning Mycroft and John. In all scenes in the entire run so far, Mycroft appears predominantly with John (save for the hospital scene with Sherlock, and alone at the Diogenes). They have a special relationship, which is of course centred around the care of Sherlock, but I think that they have a deeper friendship: Mycroft brings him in, confides in him, tries to get John thinking deeper, etc. There also could be slash with this. What are your thoughts?
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 brings 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.
I do love all the scenes between Mycroft and John; as our dear doctor is supposed to be the normal person’s window into the bizarre world of Holmeses, we get to experience by-proxy the transition from creepy-voyeur/looming-kidnapper-in-a-warehouse to Sherlock’s-overbearing-older-brother and part-time-partner-in-danger-night-crime.
I hope post-Fall the relationship won’t have broken down entirely, because between the ASiP kidnapping and awkwardness of Reichenbach’s “confession” scenes I always got the impression that Mycroft had become quite fond of John. Whether you choose to interpret this as applying the charm to better convince John to help him out with little Sherlock-related jobs, or him appreciating the connection John has with his brother and how he’s been enriching Sherlock’s life, or even just admiring John on an individual basis for his loyalty and being an all-round nice (and rather adorable) chap - who knows!
And I make no bones about bloody loving me some Johncroft, left-field as it may seem from a canon sense. Whether it’s a subtle thing like in the awesome You’ll Never Be Alone in the Bone Orchard, or just ridiculously porny and wonderful like A Touch Of (handporn! lovely lovely handporn!) How To Get What You Want and Want What You Have (voice porn! lovely lovely voice porn!), or When I Look in the Mirror I See Double (wherein Mycroft and Anthea are one mind in two bodies both of which ultimately get to enjoy some John-loving, lovely all round).