Now, this I have to try.
"You brilliant boy, you!"
Christopher Severn cleared his throat as an excuse to look away, which unfortunately only exposed the sudden scarlet tinge on his cheeks. When he finally spoke, he still did not look directly at his companions: "Aw, not really!"
"'Not really'? Pshaw!" Vincente shook his head, and his hand flew forward to put a slap on Topher's back. "That was admirable! You sure you're not in the wrong profession?"
Topher had to make a laugh, although it came across as abrupt and awkward. "Nah, I'm pretty sure racing is where I'm to be."
"Oh, yes," Vincente sobered up. "Racing does support your life better than occasional sleuthing, doesn't it? But you've the talent, you know, if you'd just try."
Art stirred in his chair. "He's got a point, Topher. That bit about the window-pane, for example - that was very thorough of you."
"Aw, no. You're the detectives, not me," Topher was becoming increasingly embarrassed now, and a certain part of him wished he hadn't relayed his theory. Still, it felt good.
"You can be our Mycroft."
"You can be our Mycroft," Vincente repeated, his tone strongly reminding Art of the way children would negotiate about who gets to play who in their games. 'I want to be Thor', 'No, I want to be Thor', 'You can be Loki', and the like; as such, he found it rather difficult not to burst out laughing, so sincerely and youthfully did his friend express the suggestion.
And even increasing Art's desire to laugh was Topher's reaction. He asked, in the most naive way posible, "What am I supposed to do?"
"Well, if you're our Mycroft, then all you have to do is... anything, actually," Vincente rubbed his chin thoughtfuly. "You do your own thing, and if Art and I get really baffled with something, we'll bring you the case and you tell us what you think. What do you say?"
At first, Topher wasn't very sure about the risks and responsibility agreeing will put him in, but then, he reminded himself: what are the stakes, anyway? It's not as if they will follow everything he tells them to; they still have brains of their own, after all. And it wouldn't really bother his racing career now, wouldn't it?
"All right, I'll be Mycroft," he murmured at last. Vincente clasped his hands and grinned, while Art's jaw dropped open.
An omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.
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