She gave a nod. Perhaps this was something that she didn’t want to get in to. But now it was too late. And she certainly was curious. Her own relationship with her family was testy at best and the way other families function interested her. But she knew better than to press too far. The question about her own family, though causes her to bite her lip.
“I have a brother,” she said softly, eyes getting a bit distant. “I haven’t spoken to him since I packed up and left for University.” This was something she hadn’t spoken about in years. “We don’t…we never really got along. I was the problem with the family according to my parents. It strained my relationship with my little brother greatly.”
“Well, then you understand”, he started in a low tone, almost as if he was sharing a secret, “that, as a generic rule, most parents don’t really know their children. But siblings, you see, they are different.” Christopher moved a bit forward and once more placed his forearms over her desk. “They know exactly where it hurt and, well, I just think it stings more because they were supposed to be your allies.”
Christopher smiled faintly as he leaned his chin over his folded arms, glancing up at Anthea as he regarded the statement more thoroughly. “I don’t know, brotherhood is a delicate thing. It is either great or a complete disaster, it’s hard to find a midterm.”
The man, Christopher, seemed to revert back into his glazed state as Sebastian explained about his connection to John, and Sebastian was left wondering again if the man was all there in the head. He couldn’t just ask; now that he wanted to befriend the man to use him against John Watson, he didn’t want to insult him in anyway. He pulled the cigarette away from his mouth, breathing out a sigh of smoke. Considering the man’s almost childlike nature, Sebastian actually was treating him kindly, which was a rarity in itself.
“You’re going to escourt me?” He asked, raising an eyebrow, grinning playfully. “I was heading to the shopd to buy milk, beer and mlre cigarettes. You’re welcome to join me. Maybe you could tell me about John? Haven’t seen the bloke in ages.”
Christopher rocked back and forth on his heels while he watched the smoke whirling upwards and then blending with London’s permanent grey sky. He seemed distracted as he glanced up at it, but he smiled nonetheless at the question, and more particularly the tone, directed at him. Smiling in kind, he shrugged faintly. “Why not?”
He faltered a bit at the second question, though. Christopher would gladly talk about John if he could, but the problem was: he hadn’t seen his brother in ages too. Every information he had was second-handed. “Well”, he drawled while he picked on his stubble, successfully pulling some blonde hair. “I don’t know if I can help you. I only know that he’s working with some odd detective. Sherlock Holmes, I think.”
Jo saw the blatant signs of anxiety, and sighed. She hadn’t meant to snap at him. He was her brother, no matter what he may have done in the past, and like it or not, she had missed him.
“Come in, Christopher.” Opening the door wider, she stepped aside, admitting defeat and giving way to her feelings.
Christopher beamed at his sister once she took a step aside and gladly stepped into the building. Just a few moments ago, he was in doubt if her kind nature would overlook the intricacies of their past, but he was glad to see she was still the same.
He glanced around once he stepped inside, his gaze following the stairs upwards. “Mother told me you were living with a man now”, he said under his voice. “Some sort of detective.” Christopher returned his gaze to her figure. “What’s the deal?”
Now that Sebastian gave the man a proper look, yes, he could see the resemblance to John Watson. It was the nose and the jaw, not to mention the same sandy blonde hair colour. Oh, this was good. Plans formulated in Sebastians head as to what to do with the man, the most predominate one being take him back to Jim. The easiest way to get to someone was through their family, most of the time even when their estranged. And from the way the man moved through the world, it didn’t look like Sebastian would need to get him alone and knock him out or threaten him; a bit of convincing and it seemed like the man woukd follow him to the ends of the earth. He may not even need to convince him. But an esentric man like this, not entirely there, unstable even… what was he doing alone? Did he have some sort of caretaker? Would someone notice if he disappeared off the streets suddenly?
Sebastian proceeded with caution. He kept up his friendly smile and clasped his han in the others, nodding. “Pleasure t’meet you, Christopher. M’name’s Sebastian. You’re brother treated me more than once.” That wasn’t a lie. In Afghanistan, Sebastian had gotten shot in the leg and gotten a pretty nasty infection. John had managed to save his leg, but Sebastian never let it heal completely and he’d find himself back in the infirmary tent every couple of days until the army doctor drugged him to keep him in bed so it could heal. “So, where were you heading? Maybe I could escourt you there?”
Meanwhile, tumbleweeds were rolling around Christopher’s mind. Once all the excitement dwindled into mild sympathy, he found that there wasn’t much left to think about the whole event. His knowledge about John and even the army ended there - and now he was just staring at Sebastian while the man explained his connection with his older brother, nodding slightly now and then to show that he was listening.
And for the sake of letting it crystal clear: Christopher didn’t require some sort of caretaker. Given the right medicines, he functioned just fine. Though, he’d avoid taking them at most of the times. They felt awfully like a biological gag, pulling him down and trapping him into a state of sheer stupor. He fucking hated it.
Still, the question managed to stir him up from his apparent daydreaming and Christopher glanced around with wide eyes. Was he heading somewhere? “Not really”, he admitted after a moment, his gaze returning to Sebastian’s face, followed by a small smile. “Were you? Maybe I could be the one doing the whole escourting deal.”
Her eyes watched him closely. There was something, not completely right about the man. Though she was hardly one to ask or pass judgement. Everyone had their demons, she supposed. But she couldn’t help but find herself worrying about him. His poster changed quickly, something she’d never noticed in anyone before.
“Pleasure to meet you, Chris,” she smiled softly, yet genuinely. “You can call me Anthea.” There was a pause as she hesitated. “I was unaware that there was a third Watson. I’ve met John and have heard of Harriet but never of you. Black sheep of the family?”
He hesitated a little at the question. Not because of its nature, but because he deemed it a matter of perspective: was he the black sheep of a family with an alcoholic sister and a brother addicted to war? Trouble was something that could be measured in degrees? If yes, then what would be worse? Surely he had been different from others since childhood hour, but he hadn’t meant to be like that.
“I suppose I am”, he finally answered, but he didn’t sound entirely sure about the fact. Christopher glanced at her and half smiled. “I’ve definitely been distant, so that’s probably why you were unaware that there was a third Watson.” He shrugged and crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back on the chair. “Do you have brothers or sisters? It’s hard to explain to single children.”
The man looked like an overgrown child at Christmas with the way his entire expreasion lit up. That’s an awful lot of excitement for just an old soldier. Did the man know something about Sebastian’s current employment? No, if he did, he was sure it would have been already mentioned. But this man knew about his history with the army, or was guessing that he had been involved in the blasted thing. No one had been able to just guess, even Jim did research before approching him.
Sebastian straightened to his full height, towering over the man as he stepped closer, body coiled and ready to spring should the man try anything. Afghanistan of Iraq. That wasn’t too far flung, as there had only been two wars that her Majesties Royal Army had been involved in the last fifteen or so years. But when a familar name passed the man’s lips, Sebastin gained an all new interest. Of course he knew John Watson. He knew him for more reasons than one. The man had treated him on more than one ocassion back in Afghanistan, and now the ex-army doctor was running around with Sherlock Holmes. Sebastian let a smile spread across his lips, immediately putting on a friendly persona. “Ah, John Watsom, yeah. We were in the same squad for a while. You’re his brother?”
Oh no, Christopher wasn’t in the slightest suspicious of the other man. Surely he could feel a violent aurea coming from the blonde, but he barely minded it. It seemed somewhat normal, after years on end running wild in different wars, exploding people here and there occasionaly.
The fact that there had been more wars aside from those two completely slipped off his mind as well. He wasn’t one to accompany the government’s movements around the world. Considering his past and the years travelling Europe with nothing but a pack of clothes didn’t help his knowledge about the fact either. So, he focused instead on the smile that spread across the other man’s lips and nodded avidly. “Yes. I’m Christopher”, he announced excitedly and offered his hand for the other to shake. “It’s a pleasure to meet one of John’s comrades.”
He had two different sides. Personalities that Christopher had been all too aware of before. This was the way he often acted with him, to keep him happy. The other part of him was reserved for everyone else. No other person really got a smile from Liam anymore. No one else existed to him anymore. He pushed the thoughts from his mind, willing himself to focus on the now.
Liam did try, for Christopher. He’d always tried, and he always would try. Sometimes he was amazed how he was enough to make his Watson smile. Maybe he was the only sane one that actually appreciated Liam for who he was. Something altogether different. A monster…in the disguise of a prince. He felt Christopher understood that.
The prince placed the second puppy down with his sibling, content to let them run around and play. He wrinkles his face, giving Chris a mild look before he runs his fingers through the blonde curls he’s missed so much. Still the same as he remembered them. He leans into Christopher and places his face against his chest, mumbling. “I need….I want tea. Would you like any?”
It seems to me that Liam is far too adept to say he only acts that way to keep Christopher happy, never because he is like that, or at least is capable of being like that. It awfully looks like a man desperate to keep its former image, but I’ll let it go. I don’t really mind and Christopher is far too happy to care about the fact, though he can feel the said monster shifting soft below the surface.
As it is, the youngest Watson simply smiles. He has his own monster to deal with at times, but now isn’t one of them and he embraces the moment heartily.
Christopher kisses the top of Liam’s head and smiles against the mass of raven hair. His arms easily found comfort around his prince’s small figure and he squeezes the other ever so gently, seeking every ounce of warm coming from him. “I do. Would you rather have me doing it?”