"Where is it I'll be sleeping?" John wondered as Greg and he walked out of the great hall, waving goodbye to the random ladies he had befriended.
"No idea, servant's quarters probably. That's great though, there's a bunk next to mine left unoccupied, they just fired some kid last week!" Greg said, as if he were super excited for a slumber party.
"Well, I doubt the Adlers will care but I should probably go make sure everything is fine, mind coming up with me?" John wondered.
"Sure, it'll be nice to see those...respectable royals." Greg said, turning his mean little giggles into coughs.
"Oh they're even worse up close." John admitted.
"Just like the pickle." Greg added, and the two burst into laughter, getting some odd looks from some guards walking by. John just shook his head, feeling a bit bad for poor Sherlock. The kid is under so much pressure, it wasn't really his fault he looked underwhelming, maybe he really was all the stories said. John got a little bit lost on the way to the Adler's chambers, in fact if Greg hadn't somehow remembered where he had found him they would never had made it there at all. John knocked nervously on the door, Greg waiting a ways down the hallway to ensure privacy. There was some groaning and moaning and finally the door swung open, a very moody looking king standing in the doorway.
"Yes servant, what can I possibly do for you?" he wondered, his beard contorting into an odd shape when he scowled. John tried to smile at him but he was so scared it probably just looked like he was showing his teeth.
"Actually I was coming to see what I could do for you." He said with a forced little smile. The king groaned, shaking his head as if this should be common knowledge.
"Go away servant." He decided, slamming the door in John's face. Of course this was rude, but at least John didn't have to do anything. He gave a giant thumbs up to Greg, who gave a big smile in return, and together the two of them walked down the hallway together, Greg talking excitedly about their sleeping arrangements for the night.
Sherlock POV: Sherlock was woken up bright and early, to his disgust, by the sound of birds and the soft touch of sunlight streaming in through his windows. He hated it, he despised consciousness and so he pulled his blankets overtop of his head and pretended the article darkness was actually the night.
"Sherlock wake up!" Mycroft's voice urged, poking at the Sherlock shaped lump under the covers.
"Go away Mycroft, honestly!" Sherlock groaned, covering his ears so that he couldn't hear his brother's nagging. But before he knew it his blankets had been ripped off, leaving him shivering and pathetic in the unforgiving morning air.
"Time to get up." Mycroft insisted. Sherlock groaned, huddling into a little ball on his mattress and pretending that Mycroft wasn't there. Maybe it would work this time. "Sherlock I'm not going to tell you again, there's a big day ahead of you."
"What do I possibly have to do now? I met your horrible princess, now what?" Sherlock snapped.
"Horrible? I was actually quite fond of her." Mycroft admitted. Sherlock just laughed, rolling out of bed and pulling on a thin cotton shirt.
"Fond of that witch? Did you even listen to her? If I had to listen to that know it all voice all day I would go mad." Sherlock decided.
"Have you listened to yourself lately?" Mycroft wondered. Sherlock scowled, turning away from his brother to pick out his outfit for the day. "You're just alike you and her, you even look alike, it would be perfect."
"That's the thing Mycroft, we're alike and I hate it. We've got the same personalities, we want to be right and we want to be the center of attention, and how would a relationship like that work if there can only be one? We'd murder each other, and with that cruel smile I'm sure she'd be the one to kill me." Sherlock decided. "It would never work. Besides, she's an awful girl."
"Well I need to see how good of a leader she could be, but until that point I'm inviting them to stay longer, as long as we need in fact. She's at the top of my list of candidates." Mycroft decided. Sherlock growled, seizing the first thing in his closet he could find (a leather shoe) and chucking it as hard as he could at Mycroft's face. Mycroft, with the reflexes he had, simply caught it, giving Sherlock a look of superiority.
"Don't be a baby about this Sherlock; you know you have to get married eventually." He insisted.
"Mycroft I don't want to get married! I don't! I'm not in love with anyone, I don't want to be in love with anyone I just want to be normal, I just want to be free!" Sherlock growled.
"You're not normal and you might as well accept that, you're a prince Sherlock, act like one!" Mycroft snapped, throwing the shoe back to Sherlock. The shoe slipped through his fingers and hit him in the face, worsening his mood even more.
"What did you say about big day? What other plans do I need to skip?" Sherlock wondered in boredom, plucking a simple white shirt and black trousers, throwing them carelessly on the bed and scowling at his brother once more.
"You are to impress her with your bravery and skill." Mycroft sighed, laughing a little bit as if the thought of his brother impressing anyone amused him.
"Would you like me to go fight a war for you Mycroft?" Sherlock laughed.
"You are to go hunting today Sherlock, and train for the upcoming tournament."Mycroft insisted.
"Hunting? I don't want to go hunting, hunting is pathetic!" Sherlock whined, stomping his foot like a little child throwing a tantrum.
"It may not be the most exciting thing Sherlock but it is necessary, your father told me himself that you are to bring back a pig or a deer or something that could be used for a feast." Mycroft insisted. Sherlock groaned loudly, but sighed.
"What about the tournament, is father making you enter this year as well?" Sherlock wondered.
"No, he said that you will enter and you must win this year. Irene is here just in time to watch you reclaim your glory." Mycroft said with a little laugh. Of course he knew all that Sherlock went through to win those stupid tournaments, he knew everything that went on in Sherlock's life whether Sherlock liked it or not.
"He won't let you enter because he doesn't want to draw attention to your enormous stomach." Sherlock muttered, and Mycroft just cleared his throat, trying to brush off that insult.
"I expect to see you on your horse with your bow and sword at nine o'clock, heading for the woods. And don't bring Ms. Hooper with you, I know how...distracting, she can be." Mycroft said with a bit of an evil smile.
"Oh come on!" Sherlock groaned, feeling the urge to throw another shoe. Prince life sucked. Mycroft swept out of the room dramatically, leaving Sherlock to feel absolutely miserable about himself, changing as quickly as he could and tying up the strings on his shirt just in time for Molly to walk in, looking equally annoyed.
"What's got you all mad?" Sherlock wondered. Molly frowned, shutting the door and crossing her arms.
"Mycroft." She sighed, as if that should be obvious. "What about you?"
"Mycroft." Sherlock agreed, sitting down on his bed and lacing up his boots.
"He told me you were going hunting all day and that I couldn't go because he knows I do all the hunting for you." Molly insisted.
"It's not cheating, it's using my resources!" Sherlock insisted. It wasn't his fault Molly was better with a bow than he was. In fact, Molly was better at everything when it came to hunting, so Sherlock would just follow her around with a book under his nose while she hunted for deer or whatever it was she did. In fact, Sherlock had no idea how to hunt for himself since Molly did it all for him. Of course he took all the credit, parading 'his' kill around town proudly. All the townspeople would get so excited, they really thought they were living with a noble and honest prince, little did they know.
"Yes well, if only they would let a woman have a weapon around here, then I could really show you up." Molly insisted. Sherlock sighed, falling back onto his bed and frowning at the ceiling once more.
"I hate being a prince." He decided.
"I hate being a woman." Molly agreed. There was silence, and both of them wallowed in self-loathing for a while, not saying anything out loud.
"At least you don't have to do any tedious manly things! I've got to enter that stupid tournament again, and you know how that goes." Sherlock growled.
"Do I have to make gold runs again?" Molly wondered.
"Oh yes, bribery to the max." Sherlock agreed. "Or maybe not, since Irene will be there."
"You're going to fail your entire kingdom to scare away someone you don't like?" Molly wondered.
"Yes." Sherlock said simply. Molly sighed heavily, but walked around and pulled Sherlock roughly to his feet.
"Come on Sherlock, let's get you ready for hunting." She insisted. Sherlock growled, steadying himself on the bedpost while Molly dug around in his closet, finally unearthing his bow and arrows at the bottom of his closet, covered in dust.
"Do you even know how to shoot one of these?" Molly wondered.
"Kind of, Mycroft taught me way back when." Sherlock admitted, shrugging carelessly. He'd figure out some way to get out of this, but until then he would occupy his time wisely. So he went to his bookshelf, plucking books he planned on reading and shoving them in his game bag.
"Sherlock no reading!" Molly insisted. Sherlock just smiled at her, daring her to stop him.
"What are you going to do about it Molly?" he wondered. Molly sighed heavily,throwing the bow and arrows on his bed and picking the sword up gently, long since dulled from lack of use. She balanced it in her hands for a while, taking a couple of practice swings at invisible attackers. Sherlock had to admit, she was good. She was good enough to convince him that she could hold her own against knights, even if those knights were men.
"You should join the tournament, wear my armor and fight for me." Sherlock suggested, and Molly just laughed.
"No, I'm going to leave the public embarrassment to you, thank you very much." Molly decided, throwing the sword onto the bed as well. Sherlock groaned, pulling on his leather jacket and slinging the quiver over his back.
"You look like a real man, look at you!" Molly said with a laugh. Sherlock growled threateningly, making sure his curls were prominent and beautiful before leaving the room without a goodbye, his books thumping around in his bag at his side. He walked down to the stables were some of the servants had already stared cleaning, shoveling horse manure into wheel barrels to be taken who knows were. Sherlock really didn't care about their pointless agenda, but he did envy them. If only he could waste his days around, doing work that no one cared about instead of being forced to put on this big elaborate show. They probably smiled when they woke up.
"Hey there Redbeard." Sherlock said with a smile, poking his head into the stable to see his beautiful horse. The horse had been named when he was very little, and being that he had no sense of vocabulary or common sense, he had named it Redbeard. He knew now that this made no sense at all, other than the very deep chestnut color the horse had no red and no beard, making it almost implausible for the animal to have such a ridiculous name. But never the less, Redbeard might be the only person in the castle that was happy to see him. Sherlock fed him some carrots before he put the saddle on and started to ride, down the town road just to show off the fact that he was hunting. The people all came out of their little houses to see, men and women wearing dirty rags as clothing but with the biggest smiles on their faces. They were so excited to see their phony prince, it was almost sad that he was totally letting them down. Sherlock waved as much as he could, the horse was going pretty fast and it was a very bumpy ride. The last thing Sherlock needed was to fall off his horse in the middle of town, that would be humiliating. But no, like it or not Sherlock made it safely to the edge of the woods, easing his horse into one of the cleared trails. It was a pleasant ride and he knew that he was in no danger; he didn't need to bring knights or anything with him because as far as he knew, no one really wanted to kill him. There was always those Moriartys of course, but they were just empty threats, they were too weak to actually try to kill him. So other than poisonous snakes, wild beasts, mythical creatures, and savage men, Sherlock should be good to go. When he got to what he thought was a good place in the woods he dismounted his horse, taking his bow and quiver and throwing it up against a tree and tying Redbeard to the tree. He sighed, looking around, not seeing any dear, and deciding that there was nothing more he could do. So Sherlock grabbed his game bag and brought out one of his favorite books, sitting up against a tree and beginning to read. The day passed uneventfully, other than the story he was reading nothing changed, there were no deer or pigs or bear or whatever Mycroft expected him to hunt, in fact the woods was unnaturally quiet. Not that Sherlock would know what to do when confronted with game, he'd probably admire it's beauty and forget to pick up his bow. He missed Molly, she had done all of his work for him and she was great company. Even though he would pick up his head and say some things to Redbeard, the horse had long since lost interest, standing there idly and dreaming of prancing through open pastures. Sherlock sighed, he even envied the horse, it had to do nothing in its life. These stupid expectations, the stupid hierarchy, the stupid kingdom! Sherlock didn't care if the townspeople went hungry, he didn't care if they got invaded and some other king took over the palace, he honestly didn't mind embarrassing himself in front of the whole town, just so that he didn't make them expect too much of him. Expectations were always so brutal, and succeeding was even worse. The more you succeed, the more people will expect from you. And as you complete more and more things they raise their expectations, worshipping you until finally you simply can't do it. You can't make them proud, you can't make them smile, and finally after so much hard work you fail. And suddenly you're worthless. It takes one failure to make people forget everything you've ever succeeded in, and suddenly they're turning their backs on you, they go on to their lives muttering their excesses and disappointment. And no matter what you do they'll never be proud. One failure, it was all it took. And that's why Mycroft made Sherlock enter the tournament, it's why he made him hunt and find a wife and sit up straight and put his napkin on his lap when he ate. Because in a prince's life every little detail mattered. In the eyes of a king, using the wrong fork was a failure. In the eyes of the nobles a slouch was a failure, an unexcused cough was a failure, a titled crown or a spaced out expression was a failure. And eventually these failures added up and they never went away, until suddenly you're disowned just for not making your bed a couple of days in a row. People think that royal life is all that, everything you want, all for free, unlimited riches and service and women, but honestly Sherlock wanted none of that. He wanted to be normal, more than anything he wanted to just...fail.
YOU ARE READING
Sherlock is the youngest son of a powerful family dynasty, with all the pressure of being the perfect prince sitting on his shoulders. However, he builds his good reputation on lies and tricks, and he dreads the day when his failures will come into...