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Quest of Normalcy

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“It's been four months since the explosion on Baker Street I tell Sherlock I'm fine but I'm not. I’m barely sleeping I hardly eat it's not the same I'm so utterly and deeply in love with him but she was my wife even with everything she did to us and others I still loved her in way and a part of me still does. I look at Rosie my beautiful daughter and I can't help think when she's older she'll hate me not for being with Sherlock because I didn't save her mother. They tell me it's not my fault they tell me it was Mary's choice. But why? Was it her choice because she knew she was dead there was nothing that could be done? Did she choose to be dead because she felt sorrow and regret for what she did in the past, before she met me or did she choose to die so I could be with Sherlock? Did she think I didn’t love her? None of these options are better than any other they all frankly are fucked up. She shouldn't have had to die at all no one ever really deserves to die well except Moriarty and Moran. Mary wasn't evil she's just a woman with a job she was an assassin and government operative. I was a soldier I, I killed people not like her but I did shoot and I did kill people. I'm also a doctor I should be saving lives, not taking them. I joined the military because I craved action I craved danger. I've been through all this before you know psychiatrists specialist figuring out my mind. But you know that already. I was suicidal when I met Sherlock I planned on killing myself but there's something about him that changed me he save me I didn't realize it right then I was falling in love with him we said I love you we said we'll live together we are living together, we share a bed every night but I still feel so guilty I see her face every time I try to sleep I replay that day in my head it comes as nightmares. I’ve gone back to work but my patient list is low, who wants to see an ill insane doctor? I feel like I'm on that edge again and I'm so scared that Sherlock is not going to be able to save me this time”

John stared at his hands as he poured his heart out to the woman in front of him, Diane. It was the first time he had been able to fully open up to anyone in the four months that had passed since he and the others had come under attack. And this was still jus the top of the pile, there was so much more, stuff he hadn’t thought about in years. His father, his childhood, the war, and his first real love Captain Riley Sutter, a fellow doctor in the British Army, the 3rd Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers.

“It’s a form of survivors guilt John. You are here Mary isn’t, that she knew your true heart and that you really truly love Sherlock. From what you said of her last moments she wasn’t angry. You told me before the autopsy showed that she would have died no matter what, that the delivery of Rosie put too much strain on her body. You have said it before that a cesarean wouldn’t have been possible even if you had the equipment that it would have made things worse, for Rosie. Mary’s main concern and yours at the time was for the life and safety of your little girl. John I’d like you to join a support group. It meets on Monday nights and I feel that with you sharing your feelings and thoughts with others it will help.” Diane said as John just pulled his feet up under him in the chair “You don’t have to tell them what happened, they don’t need details just sometimes it’s good to talk with others who are going thought he same thing”

John just nodded

“We’ll see, Monday is usually not that busy” He said

“And I think you should be open and honest with Sherlock, from what you’ve told me he’s really been opening up as a person, starting to show, feel and understand emotions. Your little sociopath is fading and a new Sherlock is emerging. I think if you were honest with him he would be there for you.” Diane smiled

“I don’t want him to be with me because he thinks he has to fix me, I want him there because he loves me” John spoke up looking up at Diane

“He’s finally letting people get close; I’m just saying if he’s letting you in, you should let him in as well.” Diane spoke

John nodded. She was right, Sherlock had always been so distant; he kept people at an arm’s length not letting anyone get too close or be fully with him. John figured he was scared of letting someone in only to lose them, like he had lost his dog Redbeard when he was younger. Sherlock had been teased and made fun of growing up. He didn’t make friends easily with people. Yet he had fallen in love with John.

John had lots of friends growing up, and had many relationships, some yes were with men. John wasn’t lying when he said he wasn’t gay. He was bi, but all the brief affairs with men, the one long relationship with a guy in his unit, he had thought the affairs were phases and that the relationship with Riley Sutter was a one off thing. He never fell in love with a man the way he did with Riley, well not until he met Sherlock.

He would tell Sherlock the truth, he would tell him everything, he knew Sherlock’s past, the education, the drug use the abuse at the hands of his dealer, how he met Greg Lestrade, his relationship with Mycroft, his relationship with his parents. Sherlock knew nothing of John’s past before the war, well before he got shot in the war. He knew about Harry but he didn’t know anything else. Then again maybe he did, maybe he deduced it. No he would have told John. Sherlock liked fact checking his deductions with people.

John sighed and stood up. He thanked Diane and took the card for the group meeting. He headed out to the waiting room and checked in with the receptionist to book for the following week, same time, just after work, before heading home to spend the night with Rosie, Sherlock and probably a case. Sherlock had been taking on a lot of them.

John headed down to the tube platform with a smile on his face. Thoughts of Sherlock two nights ago at a crime scene Rosie in the snuggly cooing and giggling away as Sherlock waltzed around the crime scene making his deductions. Sherlock was of course showing off. There were several new officers moved to the division and there was a new Detective Sargent, a Devon McLaughlin. He just stood and stared in awe as Sherlock showed off. Even Dimmock had to laugh.

Detective Inspector Dimmock had been looking after a lot more of their cases. Greg while back in the field after a two months of desk duty, he had brought Sherlock a lot of cold cases during that time, was not working as many cases directly. He was instead filling in as acting Detective Chief Inspector as DCI Hunt had been killed in the explosion. It was a big promotion and career step up for Greg should the position become permanent, and there really was no reason why it should not.

John got on the train car and was not surprised to see that there were no seats. He made his way over to the nearest pole and took hold of it. As he did a young woman stood.

“Here you can sit sir” She said with a smile

“Thank you but I’m fine” John said with a small smile

“You really should sit sir, it’s going to get crowded and you could get squished” She said.

John sighed and sat; as he did he caught his reflection in the tube windows. He really was wasting away. Face thinner than ever, the bones in his hands and arms more visible, he knew under his clothing was a thin body, not a healthy thin, a body of a man who maybe eat one small meal a day.

He looked as sick as he sometimes felt.

No wonder Sherlock had started sneaking meal replacement powders into his coffee in place of milk and sprinkling it on his food.

John closed his eyes he knew he was sick, he knew he needed help, he sought help, but still he would sit down to eat and then just stare at the food, even if he put it in his mouth he couldn’t swallow it, and half the time when he did eat it would just come back up later anyways.

He looked worse than Sherlock on a drug binge, and the harder he tried to fix it the worse he got.

“The next station is Baker Street. Change for the Bakerloo, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. Exit for Madam Tussaud’s”

John stood up that was his stop. Back home to Baker Street. Mycroft’s men had done a wonderful job. The modifications they had suggested were perfect. The stairs were now on the opposite side to where they had been and Rosie’s room while still a floor up was close to Sherlock and John’s room. They also now had a small sitting area just inside their door for clients to wait, the rest of the flat… it looked exactly the same, even had the bullet hole in the wall with the smiley face. There was one difference though. The bison skull did not make the return; neither Sherlock nor John ever wanted to look at anything similar again. Instead Greg had found a wonderful stuffed stag head and neck on a traditional mount. It had been at one of the antique stores he and Mycroft had gone to on a Sunday afternoon. It was mounted between the windows proudly wearing the headphones. Sherlock had named it Bambi; John had just laughed and shook his head.

John looked up at the building; if you didn’t know better you would think that nothing had ever happened there. Even Speedy’s was fully rebuilt. It had taken the owners a while to reopen though. John couldn’t blame them.

John pushed the door open and headed upstairs, the smell of garlic and tomatoes filled his nose as the sounds of a violin playing.

John smiled as he headed upstairs, it was Sherlock playing. It was a melody he had composed the first moment his neck brace had come off and he was able to play again. He called it Tàladh an Ròs, Scottish Gaelic for Lullaby of the Rose. It was a beautiful melody he would play to get Rosie to go down for her nap or to get her to sleep at night. Sherlock said it had undertones of Scottish folk songs hence giving it a Scottish title.

John opened the door to the flat, Sherlock stood over Rosie’s bassinet playing and humming the melody. John smiled and stood beside him he waited till he finished then wrapped his arms around Sherlock’s waist.

“I don’t like Wednesday’s” Sherlock said with an almost pout.

“Oh?” John inquired

“You always work late on Wednesday’s” Sherlock said “And I forgot and had Molly come and start dinner early. I hope it’s still alright.”

“I’m sure it will be fine” John said kissing Sherlock’s cheek, he looked over to see Molly in the kitchen smiling.

Sherlock had decided that he needed to learn how to cook, not just heat up food, but make proper meals. To be a proper partner and parent and Molly had offered to teach him.

A few nights a week she would come over with the ingredients and walk Sherlock though the recipes. Sherlock had remarked that it was just like chemistry making sure everything went in in the right measurements.

John was pretty sure Sherlock didn’t need help with the recipes anymore but it had become a tradition. After they ate John and Sherlock would move into the sitting room and work on cases. Molly would tidy up and play with Rosie for a bit. Sometimes Mrs. Hudson would come up as well and she and Molly would play cards. Once or twice Greg and Mycroft had also come. Greg once brought a double chocolate cake that could only be describes as decadent death by chocolate. Sherlock had even mushed up a little and fed it to Rosie.

“Smells lovely Molly” John said as he and Sherlock came to sit at the table.

“I can’t really take any of the credit, Sherlock did it all I just watched Rosie” Molly smiled as she sat

“Well then it smells lovely Sherlock” John said as Sherlock began to serve it, big heaping bowls of tortellini and sauce for himself and Molly and a small bowl for John. Garlic bread tantalizingly sat in the middle of the table.

John looked at the food in front of him. He could do this, he could eat it all, and the garlic bread that smelled so good, and drink the wine, maybe not any wine. But he could eat this meal and keep it down. He was going to tell Sherlock the truth about where he had been going on Wednesday night and he was going to get help.

He was going to get better, to be there for Sherlock and for Rosie. No more of this stupid overly proud soldier that was too stubborn to ask for help.

His stomach lurched as he took another bite. Overthinking, it gets you every time. John put his fork down and quickly made his way to the lavatory. Sherlock put his fork down and followed.

“Go enjoy your dinner” John said from where he knelt beside the toilet.

“Dinner can wait.” Sherlock said kneeling down next to John “You’ve never had this happen during a meal. I fear you are getting worse” Sherlock was worried “Could this be a side effect of the internal bleeding and your surgery?”

“No” John replied

“Maybe we should go make sure” Sherlock said standing.

“No!” John cried as he tried to stand only to have the muscles in his stomach tighten and cause him to wretch again. “It’s, it’s not physical, I’m losing it Sherlock, I’m losing my mind and my body is suffering. I don’t work late on Wednesdays I go see a therapist, her name is Diane, and, I, shouldn’t be hiding this from you. Mary hid so much from me, a whole entire life and look where that almost got us, you dead in Magnusson office and”

John stopped and painfully dry heaved into the toilet.

Sherlock pulled John in tight. He knew John was still hurting emotionally from everything that happened in Moran’s attack. But he didn’t know it was this bad. John was the strong one. John was the one who could handle the pressure. John didn’t get damaged by the war it wasn’t PTSD he missed the action the danger.

But everyone had their limits. Everyone had a breaking point where even the littlest thing could set them off.

As Sherlock held John close he knew his lover had finally reached that limit, and had gone far past, further then he had been when Sherlock met him. John wasn’t broken, he was shattered.

Sherlock kissed the top of John’s head it rested on his chest.

He had to find a way to help John, to put him back together before he lost any of the pieces.

Chapter Text

Greg sat at the table staring at all the paperwork in front of him. He was slowly getting the hang of this DCI position. It was just a step up from what he had been doing before but was a bit more of a supervisory position with extra responsibilities. He still responded to cases he still could go out and actually investigate but only if all the paperwork but other cases were done.

He hated paperwork when he was a patrol constable; he really hated it when he was in narcotics and vice even still hated it when he was a detective sergeant and detective inspector. Take all that paperwork times that by fifty and you had the paperwork load of a DCI. He didn’t want to bring work home with him, but he had to it was the only way he could get caught up. The higher ups knew it was an adjustment and they knew that it was a lot but it had to be done. They had let the position sit empty for a few months as there was no other suitable replacement till Greg was back. It had resulted in a lot of backlog. Especially with all the stuff that had been damaged and lost in the explosion that now had to be re done or restored and re catalogued and archived or sent to lawyers for trials.

Greg still felt bad for bringing it home with him, but wasn’t like Mycroft didn’t bring work home with him he did all the time in fact tonight he was currently sitting in his home office on a conference call with the United States something about a lead from Moran to an organization there. The MET even had put together special task force looking into everything that had gone on with Moran. There had to still be some more links and loose ends out there. Moriarty’s network had been big, but not that big and not that well-funded not without links to some criminal organization or another and no such link could be found tied to this latest attack.

Irene Adler had disappeared again after her brief visit with unconscious Sherlock in the hospital. Everyone thought she would return she never did Anthea tried but couldn’t find out where she went. A team was sent to hotel that she owned in Greece but when they got there the found that her hotel been put up for sale no trace of Irene anywhere. This is disheartening and concerning why would she risk her life her freedom to tell them about the bombs show up in London to visit them say that she will return to visit Sherlock then not follow through on that promise?

Greg wanted to work on the case he wanted to be on that team but he couldn’t he wasn’t allowed near it. The MET wanted a fully independent investigation team, one where emotions and attachments wouldn’t interfere. Greg had asked Mycroft to get him something let him help Mycroft refused he didn’t want Greg anywhere near it and in fact Mycroft was also being kept away. All was stored at a new level of security one that locked he and Anthea out. Greg, Sherlock, John, Mycroft, Anthea, and even Molly would be kept up to speed and occasionally asked for opinions or insight but they were not allowed to have full access to the files or the case.

Mycroft hadn’t been too keen on Greg going back to work in the first place, he thought it was too soon, yes Greg had been medically cleared to work and the MET had been rebuilt but to step into that office to ride those elevators what would that do to Greg’s heart and mind? Mycroft was worried about Greg mentally and emotionally. It caused much fighting between the two of them Mycroft didn’t think that a person could work while struggling through guilt and grief. As much as Mycroft had warmed and the Iceman melted he still struggled with emotions and showing them. Mycroft felt he’d shown too much in the hospital with breaking down about almost losing Grey and the warm tender proposal. Not to say that Mycroft wasn’t loving and caring just for so long he had to keep it all happen keep it tucked away caring was not an advantage. How they even wound up together now engaged still could baffle some.  

Greg thought back to those years ago when he first met Mycroft. He’d known Mycroft as long as long as he’d known Sherlock. Mycroft was the one that Greg called when he found an almost overdosed and severely beaten Sherlock in his tiny little bed sit, left there by his controlling abusive dealer. When Mycroft arrived at the hospital he was almost as a mess as Sherlock, not beat up not drugged out but emotionally. That was Sherlock second overdose by his fourth that panic and emotional response from Mycroft was gone. You couldn’t call him stoic cautious or reserved he was just plain unfeeling not uncaring that’s different he still cared what happened to Sherlock he just didn’t let himself feel anything really.

Greg at the time was married, but still there was something about Mycroft that Greg found so appealing. Greg did love his wife, but Mycroft was just so tempting, and honestly back then there had even been some distance between Greg and his wife.

Growing up Greg was never sure what he really truly liked he found himself attracted to men and women. In his teenage years and in his early 20s he mostly had boyfriends his one serious long-lasting relationship was a gentleman by the name of Maurice they were together from the age of 16 to just after Greg’s 19th birthday they did everything together, they were on the footie team they were snuck into punk rock concerts at local clubs and went down to the old wreck by their houses They sprayed the place up with graffiti they made out many times in that old wreck as well. That ended when Maurice went to university in France. He had a few girlfriends and boyfriends on and off after that.

His first real sexual encounter with a man was on the eve his 21st birthday he was playing football for the Queens Park Rangers in the EFL Championship on his way up to the Premier League. Kevin Hutchins was a teammate; Greg while attracted to Kevin never thought that Kevin would be attracted to him until after the final game of the year which they unfortunately lost, but when they went out together to commiserate they wound up in bed together. It was wonderful, like nothing Greg had experienced. Three months later Kevin decided that he didn’t want anything to do with Greg you couldn’t go pro and be gay is what Kevin’s said. Greg didn’t date much after that not until he met Margaret she was the friend of a teammate’s wife. They actually hit it off quite well and got along famously looking back now it was all an act, probably, Greg was pegged to be signed to a Premier League team, major contracts money, and fame maybe to the status of even a David Beckham or a Cristiano Ronaldo.

Greg did sign a contract with Bournemouth not his favorite team oh well but it would have been a professional career. He and Margaret celebrated and then came his final game with The Rangers after the end of the season he would move up to his dream, but that game ended up being the last ever game of a football career. They were playing the Wolverhampton Wanderers who were not happy to be losing four to zero Greg never even saw the other guy coming the guy aimed straight for Greg’s legs. Greg’s right leg was just slightly in front of his left as he’d planted it getting ready to kick. The guy’s shoulder hit Greg was grateful he never saw the angle his knee took teammates said it was sickening but he certainly heard and felt the Crunch and snap as the muscles tore and bone broke.

Recovery took almost a year with Greg being on crutches for half of that his knee completely rebuilt including a graph done on one of the ligaments and muscles. Margaret stayed with him, looking back she probably thought he would coach or do endorsements or run clinics for skills and young players. Greg took another path however, always in the back of his mind he wanted to be a police officer to help people like the one that helped him and his mom when he was younger so he looked in to if he could physically do it. He applied, he tried and was accepted, He could run he could jump if needed, but it would get stiff at night, nothing he couldn’t handle.

He started off as a regular constable mostly foot patrol, after helping out the narcotics team with a case he was moved to their division mostly just working undercover helping them with cases. Just before he met Sherlock Holmes he was made a detective constable with narcotics. By the time he met Sherlock again after Sherlock’s many rehab stays he was a Detective Sergeant in the major crimes division, after closing a few cases with Sherlock Greg was made a Detective Inspector. Both Sherlock and Mycroft insisted that they had nothing to do with the promotion that is was all Greg’s own doing, and so began Greg’s relationship with the Holmes Brothers.

Greg and Mycroft remained cordial to each other when their paths crossed. So after Greg found out about Margaret’s latest round of cheating he moved out found a small flat then headed to a small bar nearby to drown his sorrow and listen to some good music to forget. That was the night that Greg Lestrade learned that Mycroft Holmes was a fan of the what was known as the British Blues, Mycroft was a regular there, had been for a number of years. That was also the night that Greg Lestrade fell in love again. He and Mycroft spent quite a few nights at bar listening to the blues and drinking. One of Greg’s favorite facts that he learned about Mycroft was that that he could drink anyone under the table. For his prim and proper exterior Mycroft Holmes was a fan of hard liquor and could hold it well. Nights at the bar became a few choice select passionate evenings at some of the fancier hotels in London. Mycroft never wanted to use his house or Greg’s flat for safety concerns. He said it was to protect Greg safety as much as his own. Great start to see the other side of Mycroft the caring side the loving side the ravenous passionate side of Mycroft Holmes.

Then Sherlock jumped Mycroft became distant, at first Greg could understand Mycroft had just lost his little brother but after a while it was different Mycroft wasn’t mourning Sherlock actually he hardly mentioned him it was weird. When Greg tried to help him Mycroft distanced himself more. Then Sherlock miraculously returned the bastard faked his own death, and Mycroft knew about it kept it from everyone kept it from John. Greg couldn’t deal with it he was so mad but when he finally went to Mycroft to try and work things out Mycroft would not even talk to him Greg didn’t know what he did wrong, he had had every right to be mad at Mycroft. They didn’t speak except for after Sherlock was shot, when Greg went to Mycroft to try and help find out where Sherlock had went.

Christmas Mycroft was headed up to his parents with John and Mary and Sherlock. Greg had been invited as a sort of peace offering but he had to work. That night Greg got a call Sherlock had shot a man in the head kill him and was now going to be exiled. Mycroft told Greg the truth he had to push him away Magnuson had threatened Greg’s life. If Mycroft didn’t get Sherlock to back off Magnuson would have killed Greg.

Mycroft told Greg that he would get Sherlock sorted then they would sit and talk. Greg got off work that day and went for a pint, the TV screens everywhere showed Moriarty and played that message, Miss Me? He almost lost Mycroft and Mycroft almost lost him. In the back of his mind Greg couldn’t help but think did Mycroft propose because he was ready to or because he thought he was going to lose Greg?

Greg looked up as the housekeeper Tabitha brought him in a tray. Was it dinnertime already?

“Evening Mr. Lestrade” Tabitha said setting down the tray “Mr. Holmes is sorry but he will not be able to join you for dinner again tonight, he has to take some more phone calls”

“Oh, ok” Greg said looking back down at the paperwork.

“Eat now work later.” Tabitha smiled “I made you favorite” Sher said as she removed the cover on the plate.

Greg smiled

“You spoil me Tabitha.” He said

“It is nice to have someone else here to spoil” Tabitha replied. “When you are done, just leave it here, you don’t have to bring it back”

“OK” Greg replied, knowing he would take the tray back to the kitchen when he was done. Even after all this time living with Mycroft, Greg still wasn’t used to be waited on.

Tabitha left, making sure to close the door behind her.

Greg took another look at the budget sheet, he hated budget paperwork the most out of all the kinds of paperwork there was. He turned on the TV to watch the news as he ate. Trump this, Brexit that. Greg didn’t want to think about it, there was something about a new anti-terrorism bill before parliament; they were talking about the attacks on the MET. They put up a picture of Moran and one of Moriarty. Greg grabbed the remote and turned the TV off. He leaned back in the chair and shut his eyes. When would they stop being everywhere? He knew they needed to keep the public aware and he knew that there may still be the network there with the ties that they didn’t know about. Who know who was out there gearing up for an attack?

Greg looked down at the remaining food on his plate and just pushed it around. He piled up his paper work back into their folders and slipped them into his briefcase. He picked up the tray and returned it to the Kitchen. Tabitha looked up and smiled, then her smile faded.

“Are you alright Mr. Lestrade?” She asked walking over

“Yeah, just made the poor choice of trying to watch the news” Greg replied grabbing a bottle of beer out of the fridge.

“The world is a mess but I believe it will sort itself out” Tabitha said with a small smile

“I’m going to go and have a shower, may turn in early, have to be up for that departmental meeting” Greg said opening the bottle and leaving the cap in the bin.

“Would you like a full breakfast in the morning or just something quick?” Tabitha asked

“Coffee will be fine” Greg replied

“”Yes Mr. Lestrade”

“Tabitha, please call Greg” He said with a smile

“Yes sir” She smiled as Greg left.

Greg headed up stairs to the bedroom he shared with Mycroft, at least when Mycroft was at home. He had wasted no time getting back to work. Even before he got his prosthetic leg there was no stopping him. Then when he transitioned from crutches to having the new leg, Mycroft was right back fully immersed in the world of the British government that he helped run.

Greg set the beer on the shelf in the shower and turned on the water, stripping down he paused to look at himself in the mirror. The large scar on his hip, the larger uglier one on his stomach and side, at least the one on his hip matched the one on his knee. He was around the same weight he was before the attack. It had been a struggle to gain back the weight he’d lost from not being able to eat the few weeks after being shot in the stomach. But Tabitha made good food; it made it a little easier. And then Mycroft let Greg bake.

Greg learned to bake from his mum and grandmother. They said it was a skill all men should have, no better way to woo a lover then with a fresh baked treat.

Mycroft loved sweets, but also had struggled with his weight his entire life. So that made Greg’s talent a little bit dangerous, but Mycroft didn’t mind, especially when Greg told him he knew plenty of fun ways they could exercise without leaving their bed.

Greg closed his eyes and let the water run over him. Would it be another super late night for Mycroft, would he even come upstairs tonight?

The last few nights he slept in the office between video conferences. Greg missed the nights of Mycroft cuddling up in front of him sometimes his back against Greg’s chest, sometimes chest to chest, Greg’s face buried in the crook of Mycroft’s neck the smell of Mycroft’s cologne, the smell of Mycroft’s hair, the taste of his neck and the taste of his lips.

Greg opened his eyes and looked at the engagement ring on his finger. Was Mycroft really ready for this step?

Greg stepped out of the shower as the water started to turn cold. He would have to try and sit down with Mycroft and have a serious conversation.

He slowly slipped into his pyjama bottoms and climbed into the bed. He left the empty beer bottle on the bedside table and turned on the stereo. The soft sound of some classical piece of music filled the room. Greg pulled up the covers and slowly drifted off the sleep.

=-=-=

“No, No leave her! Leave her alone” Greg’s cries echoes though the upper floor of the house. His body thrashed and lashed out as if fending off an invisible attacker.

The nightmares when they came were always the same; he couldn’t save Donovan, an almost exact replay of what had happened at the MET. On the bad nights like to night the dream was expanded, that Greg had lost everything. That everyone was dead and he couldn’t do a thing to stop it.

“Myc!” Greg called as he was jolted awake, he laid in bed the covers tossed off around him “He breathed heavily trying to calm, trying to stop the pounding of his heart. He looked next to himself in the bed. It was empty the pillows not even lain on, the covers still tucked in tightly on that side.

Greg turned and looked at the clock on the bedside table, 5:38am; Mycroft hadn’t even come to bed. Greg carefully stood, his hip was stiff, he’d twisted it in the blankets during his nightmare.

He carefully made his way downstairs and towards the back of the house, there was light coming from under the office door.

Greg stood in front and softly knocked.

“Myc?”

“One moment” Mycroft said from inside

Greg sighed and leaned on the wall, he could hear Mycroft talking, Hindi if Greg wasn’t mistaken, he had heard Myc speak it before while ordering at a small Indian restaurant they had went to on a date.

A few minutes later the door opened

“Hello Gregory, are you alright” Mycroft said gesturing for Greg to enter “You’re limping did you have a fall?”

“No” Greg said sitting in one of the chairs “Just got a little twisted in the duvet”

“Another nightmare?” Mycroft asked sitting on the arm of the chair. Greg nodded “Would you like me to call your therapist again? I can make you an appointment for the morning”

“No.” Greg replied taking Mycroft’s hand in his. “I want you to come to bed, I want you there when I fall asleep and when I wake, I want to feel you next to me to know that you are alright.”

“I am sorry Greg, I would but with everything happening with the fallout from Moran’s attack, from stuff we’ve dug up on Moriarty” Mycroft started

“I want to for once not hear their names” Greg said voice raising “I know they have a network out there, I asked to help bring it down. We were denied,,, wait or were you?” Greg said looking at Mycroft’s desk and the paper work “You are working it, you lied, again! Why are you always lying, keeping things from me?”

Greg pulled his hand away from Mycroft and stood

“Greg I am just trying to protect you.” Mycroft stated

“I was in an elevator that dropped, I was shot, I saw my partner die, I attended more funerals in a matter of weeks than most do in their entire lives. It’s too late for this protection shit” Greg said as Mycroft stood

“You are not emotionally ready for this” Mycroft replied.

“Why because I am upset and angry, that shouldn’t be a problem. Emotions are not something to be ashamed of Mycroft, we’re not Vulcans, suppressing out emotions does not make us superior.” Greg fumed

“In a position like mine caring is not an advantage. Emotions have no place in politics” Mycroft stated

“Bull shit” Greg replied as he started to pace. “You are telling me that there was no emotional input into your plea to get Sherlock out of jail. I know he was being exiled but that was a smidge better than him spending life in a tiny cell with only himself as company.”

“And look where that got us” Mycroft said motioning to his leg

“None of what happened four months ago was Sherlock’s fault” Greg replied

“Really, if he hadn’t egged on Moriarty, played along with his little game.” Mycroft said heading to his desk and sitting.

“It was your idea for Moriarty to stand trial and not disappear like you could have made him do. It was your idea to continue to game, to have Sherlock fake his death and try to dismantle the network.” Greg said standing in front of the desk. “If you are not going to place all the blame on those two evil whack jobs Moran and Moriarty, then you have to take some of the blame on yourself as well.”

“I guess I was at some fault” Mycroft answered as he shuffled around some papers

“Did you propose to me because you thought I was going to die?” Greg asked

Mycroft stopped shuffling the papers and looked up at Greg.

“No, I have had the ring since before Sherlock jumped.” Mycroft said quietly.

“Since I was a teenager I have never let anyone get too close. For reasons I,” Mycroft closed his eyes, a tear had formed in the corner of one “For reason I do not wish to discuss at this time. As I got older it was just easier to not get close, especially in this line of work. I didn’t always work behind a desk you know. I was a field agent for some time, a damn good one too, because I didn’t let my emotions rule me. I lost a lot of fellow operatives and bosses, but by not allowing myself to have the sadness or anger take over I was able to work when others couldn’t. It was my best quality and led me to where I am today. I can negotiate with anyone as I have no tells and my emotions do not cloud my judgement. I save lives and a protect countries. And If I let my heart take over for my head”

“You would be an even better operative” Greg said “Sometime the mind misses things the heart knows.

Mycroft looked down at his desk, he got quiet.

“I’ve been this way for so long” I don’t know any other way to be” He finally spoke.

“But you do!” Greg said sitting on the edge of the desk. “The Mycroft I saw sitting beside his brothers bed in the hospital, holding his slightly less injured hand and telling him that he was there for him and would get him all the help he needed. The Mycroft I met at the Roadhouse, downing shots and shooting billiards while singing along to Eric Clapton, The Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones. I’m not saying you have to do all that in public, but please especially now, I need that Mycroft in my life”

“I, I don’t know if I can be who you want or need right now” Mycroft said eyes turning red but still they refused to tear up more.

“Then maybe I should move back to my old flat.” Greg said standing

“No!” Mycroft said jumping up, the sudden movement caused the ankle joint in his prosthetic to catch nearly sending Mycroft to the floor.

Greg quickly grabbed him under his arms, Mycroft gripped Greg’s arms tight and pulled himself in closer.

“Please don’t go Greg.” Mycroft quietly said through tears that were now streaming down his face. “I, I can’t lose you. I love you Greg. Please help me become the man I can be”

“Ok” Greg whispered as he kissed Mycroft’s head just above his ear. “I won’t go. I’m sorry I yelled”

“I’m sorry I lied” Mycroft interrupted.

“We’ll deal with that later” Greg said kissing Mycroft’s forehead “Call Anthea, cancel your meetings, I’m cancelling mine. We’re going to spend the day together”

“But” Mycroft started.

“No buts, today we focus on ourselves, and then we go after that network. Deal” Greg said

“Deal” Mycroft replied. He hit send on the text to Anthea. Once the confirmation came on Greg turned off Mycroft’s phone and led him to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

Sherlock carefully held John’s arm as they made their way down the hall. John had agreed to go to the group therapy session. Sherlock, with Rosie in her snuggly, agreed to go to for the journey with John. John had gotten a little better over the weekend. He had eaten and it had stayed down. It was just one medium sized meal a day but Sherlock was pleased, it was a great improvement.

John was still very weak; Sherlock insisted that he stay home from work, to focus on getting well.

John agreed, but he didn’t like being fussed over and had snapped at Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson a few times. They had just smiled and kissed his forehead.

John read the sign on the door.

          “Coping with Loss, Grieving Those We Lost. Group Therapy Session, Mondays 5:30-6:30”

“Did you want me and Rosie to come in or Would you like to text when you are done?” Sherlock asked

“I will text” John replied “No sense bringing the two of you into this. Take Rosie to the park. Feed the ducks”

Sherlock smiled and kissed John.

“Don’t force yourself to stay if you feel overwhelmed.” Sherlock said “Diane said you could leave at any time, so don’t feel obligated to stay if it’s making things worse”

John nodded and kissed Sherlock, then kissed Rosie’s forehead, she cooed as he turned and entered the room.

There were about a dozen people there, sitting in the chairs and loveseats that were arranged in a sort of squished circle. Diane came over.

“I am so glad you could come John.” She smiled

“I am hoping this helps, I want to get better, for Rosie and Sherlock” John said as Diane led him over to the group. “Everyone I want you to meet a new member of our group, everyone this is John”

They all said hello then Diane introduced everyone the tall male ginger was Robert, the short ginger male was Thomas, there was an Alice, Suzanne, Donny, Mindy, Christopher, Killian, Josie and a Joey, Patricia and a Patrick and finally a frail looking woman sitting in the last loveseat with the open space beside her for John.

Her name was Karen. She was shy and quiet, she barely looked up when John said hello, but she did cautiously reach out her hand for John to shake it.

John settled next to her and Diane sat in her own chair at the end.

“John would you like to start or would you like to listen for a bit first?” Diane asked

“I can talk now” John said. He looked down at his hands and took a deep breath before starting to talk. He didn’t tell them details like that Mary was an assassin or who Sherlock was. In fact he didn’t use names at all. He didn’t give exact details about why they were in the explosions, just that they were near there.

It turned out everyone in there had lost someone in those attacks. John just looked down at his hands, so many lives lost because of Moran coming after him and Sherlock.

Patrick lost his partner of 36 years, Mindy her brother, Josie and Joey their fathers, a lot were at the MET, Police constables and support personnel, some were at St. Bart’s, some on the street by the Diogenes, and Karen. Karen lost her son and husband in Speedy’s sandwich shop.

John had to fight the urge to vomit, this poor frail woman already weakened from battling and surviving ovarian cancer, lost her family in an explosion that was meant for John and Sherlock. John didn’t know how to respond. Instead he stood and walked to where Diane had set up some tea, coffee, water and a few treats. John grabbed a bottle of water and fumbled to open it, his had shook, he’d been able to control it since the hospital, but now it just trembled.

He jumped as he felt a hand on her shoulder, he turned to see Karen standing behind him.

“You’re Doctor John Watson” She said “You lived at 221 Baker Street with Sherlock Holmes. Were you at Baker Street when the Explosion happened?’

John just nodded

“Is that where your wife died?” Karen asked

John nodded as tears began to form in his eyes.

Karen hugged him. Her tall stature meant his head rested on her chest. Karen reached up and put her hand on his back.

“it’s alright Doctor Watson. No one blames you or Sherlock. You kept London safe from those two terrorists for years. Sherlock even sacrificed himself for you, but you got him back. I think the universe is trying to tell you that you are destined to be together” Karen softly said.

“But Mary didn’t have to die” John weakly whispered.

“It was her time John” Karen said “There is nothing you could do to change it.”

John just nodded and broke away from Karen, the meeting was winding down.

“Did you want a short private session John?” Diane said coming over. John just nodded. “Ok you let Sherlock know, go wait in my office, I will just tidy up here”

“Thank you” John said to Karen as he turned to head to Diane’s office.

“You are welcome John” Karen said as she gathered her coat and headed off.

=-=-=-

Sherlock looked down at his phone then down to Rosie in the snuggly she was happily chewing on her hand.

“Where did your chew ring go?” Sherlock asked as he looked around the immediate area before seeing it down in the snuggly. Rosie giggled and cooed. Sherlock smiled “The meeting must have helped; your daddy is just staying for a little follow up with Diane”

Rosie cooed and switched out her hand for the ring.

“Shall we go for another walk; the frogs are out by the pond we can listen to them sing.” Sherlock continued as he stood. Rose gave a cheer like coo. He smiled, and headed down to the pond in the park. He was correct the frogs were making plenty of noise.

Rosie made a mimicking like noise of a frog.

“Very good honeybee” Sherlock smiled.

He watched as up a head a woman walked with her small son. The child was a about three years of age, and was wanting to break free and run but the grip the mother had on his hand prevented him from doing so, and he was getting frustrated.

Sherlock looked down at the now yawning Rosie, he and John would have a lot of that in their future probably. Rosie even a 4 months, almost 5 months of age was already showing her father’s determination. She was already trying to grab the spoon from them and feed herself and she when having tummy time on the floors she was trying to pull herself up, not to crawl but to stand.

The little one pulled away from his mother and took off towards the pond. The woman went to follow but fell.

Sherlock held Rosie tight with one arm and raced forward scooping up the little guy before he reached the water. He fussed but Sherlock held him close as he walked back to the woman who was carefully standing, as he neared Sherlock noticed a brace on one of the women’s legs.

“Thank you” She said taking her son from Sherlock, She held her son close then turning and hugging Sherlock. “Thank you so much. I know, I know he should be in a stroller but I don’t have one and he just loves to run”

“It’s alright.” Sherlock said noting the woman’s limp. “Are you alright would you like to sit?” He asks gently guiding her to the nearby bench.

“Thank you” She said holding her son on her lap.

“Is your leg alright? Did you need a doctor” Sherlock asked

“No, no. I’m fine. Lived with this all my life” She smiled “Car accident as a teenager.”

“Ah” Sherlock gave a small understanding smile.

The little one squirmed.

“It’s ok Elijah we’ll head home and you can run all around the garden, just give Mummy time to catch her breath” the woman said.

“Elijah, what a lovely name” Sherlock smiled

“Thank you; it was my grandfather’s name.” The woman smiled

“This is Rosie, she was named after her mother, who unfortunately died from some complications during birth” Sherlock said

“Oh I am so sorry” the woman replied gently taking Sherlock’s hand. “I lost Elijah’s father last year.”

“Rosie’s mother was the wife of my, friend” Sherlock said, it didn’t seem right to say wife of now partner to a complete stranger.

“Then you are a wonderful friend for helping out” The woman smiled “I’m Judy”

“Sherlock”

“Well that’s an interesting name!” Judy said with a smiled

“My parents liked to be unique” Sherlock smiled

“Thank you again Sherlock” Judy said standing. “Perhaps I will see you and Rosie again here another day”

“Perhaps” Sherlock smiled as Judy got up and headed off the little one squirming the entire way out of the park.

Sherlock looked down Rosie was starting doze in her snuggly again. Sherlock softly hummed her song. His phone beeped. John was done and was going to walk over to meet them at the park’s entrance. Sherlock stood and headed to the gate. John was already there when he arrived, sitting on a bench.

“You made good time” Sherlock smiled as he approached

“I, I actually have been sitting here a little while, the one on one with Diane was short, I just needed a little time to stop and watch the world go by” John said pointing to the street and all the cars driving by “All these people just driving so calm. Like the events of January are forgotten, people forget that this street was one of the ones blocked, but you would never know that now. They blocked it to keep people from turning onto Alsop.” John reached out and held Sherlock’s hand “everyone in that group lost someone in the attacks.”

Sherlock gave John’s hand a squeeze

“Everyone, all 12 of them, lost someone because of us. Karen, she’s a frail young thing, lost her husband and her son in Speedy’s, she’s a cancer survivor, planning a trip to Paris Disney to celebrate. And she lost her world in an attack meant for us” John said voice cracking “She recognized me, told me it wasn’t my fault, Diane said the same thing. But they are wrong, it is our fault. WE seek the danger we crave it, and now so many others have suffered for it. Lestrade, Molly, even Mycroft and Anthea, tt’s all our fault they got hurt. And more importantly it’s mine. You dove off the roof, you jumped to save me. And that is what angered Moran the most. That I got you back and he didn’t get Jim back.”

John wiped his eyes as tears ran down his cheeks.

“And I married Mary. I got her pregnant, so now there is a child in the world without a mother and it is all my fault” John pulled his hand away from Sherlock and buried his face in his hands.

Sherlock sat by him and pulled him in close being mindful not to squish Rosie.

John’s body shook as he cried harder. Sherlock rubbed his back and hummed. He kissed the top of John’s forehead.

“It’s not going to get better overnight, but it will get better.” Sherlock said

“It’s been four bloody months” John replied though the tears.

“How long after Afghanistan did you start feeling better, and not suicidal? Sherlock cautiously asked.

“I picked up my gun and contemplated using on myself for the first time on March 12; I met you on January 29th.” John said wiping his eyes and looking up at Sherlock.

Sherlock pulled John in and kissed him.

John reached up and cradled the back of Sherlock’s head in his hand and kept him tight against his lips.

“We should head home” Sherlock said when they came up for air.

“Yes, might be best,” John said with a small smile before carefully getting up.

Sherlock held his arm for support.

“I really need to start eating more and getting my strength back or I’ll be in need my cane again to keep me upright” John gave a small chuckle.

“Well in that case, I say we stop at Baskin Robbins on the way home and get some ice cream. We can pick up some Rum Raisin for Mrs. Hudson to have with her medicinal brownies” Sherlock smiled as they started to head home

John laughed

“I think I may want to try some of that Mango Tango if they still has some left” John smiled

“I was thinking a banana royale with chocolate, chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough as the base” Sherlock said with a wistful look in his eye

“Well if we’re going all out I want one too” John said a real honest smile on his face.

Sherlock leaned down and kissed him again. This time John responded by playfully biting Sherlock’s lip.

Sherlock blushed. John smiled, and Rosie in her snuggly snored.

Chapter Text

Molly stood in front of the body on the table. This poor soul had met his end in an unknown way. Save for a few scrapes and bruises the man had no outward signs of cause of death.

As much as postmortems could provide a nice challenge for one’s brain, on a day like today Molly would prefer a more cut and dry cause such as a bullet wound or impalement. But no such interesting cases had been coming her way. She had a sinking suspicion that the rest of the lab was still handling her with kid gloves. Molly could have come back to work almost a month after the explosions, but chose instead to use some holiday time and travel to see some relatives in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

She had been back two months but still they gave her the less traumatic cases. Yes she had trembled a bit the first time she stepped in front of a body, the lights above her and the empty morgue. Yes she had let off a small yelp when a truck drove down the road and shook the building. But that was all behind her know. She had taken that step and now was ready to keep moving forward in life.

Molly looked up as the new lab tech entered.

“Hello Brodie” Molly smiled.

“Hello Molly, you look very nice today” Brodie said with a large smile, but a quiet calm voice that one would not expect from a man with a brawny Scottish highlander physique as he possessed.

“Thank you” Molly smiled “New lab coat no blood or bodily fluids on it yet”

“Ah then it, needs to be christened” Brodie said with a roguish smile as he picked up a container that was holing a lung from an earlier university class visit. (The instructor told Molly to leave and so she would till it started to smell)

“Don’t you dare!” Molly said with a giggle as she playfully moved away from him.

“I would never do that to you Molly” Brodie said as he made his way to collect the samples that had been left for him.

Brodie Wellington-McTavish had come to St. Bart’s pathology department from Kinlochleven via the British Royal Navy, where he was a marine. He had joined the navy to get out of his small city and due to his test results had been placed in the Marines. He figured the military was a good way to have his education paid for. What he didn’t expect was for a war to break out in Afghanistan. So he had been sent over Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, and had even been posted over to Iraq twice.

Iraq is where his convoy hit an IED, Only three survived. Brodie was not the worst off but he was bad. The IED had caused their vehicle to roll and it had pinned them to the ground.

The driver Wesley Price’s legs were crushed, he ended up losing both of them, and later an arm to infection. The gunner Andrew Marksham was left with head injuries that left him blind and deaf in one ear.

Brodie’s back was broken, and his spinal cord severed. He spent a month in hospital then another two in rehab. He hit a low spot during that time. But after meeting with some great therapists he pulled himself back up.

He kept up his pre-injury gym routine to the best of his ability, he went and finished his school focusing on more of the lab assistant/lab tech aspect then the actual coroner.

And soon after completing his courses he started working at St. Bart’s, a month after the rebuild was done, so roughly about a month and a half after the explosion.

It had been a little daunting to come to a place that had recently been under attack. But the company that was in charge of the rebuild was amazing. And everything was so new and shiny; the lab looked like it belonged on one of those American criminal investigation shows.

He settled in nicely and he liked his coworkers well enough. Then two months ago he met Molly and while he always liked coming to work. Having her there made him LOVE coming to work.

She was sweet and a bit shy, worried sometimes that she was saying the wrong thing. But she made Brodie smile.

“So what is the cause of death for this poor soul” Brodie asked as he looked at the body in front of Molly.

“TBD” Molly replied “Finally I have a mystery”

“Or a case for Sherlock?” Brodie smiled

“He’s not fully back in the swing of things.” Molly replied. Brodie nodded “There are a few blood samples from Mr. Underwood, may have some tissue samples later”

 

“I look forward to it” Brodie smiled “Are you off at 5 today?”

“I am” Molly said over the body at Brodie. He was smiling as he hooked the sample container on the side of his chair.

“So would dinner at 7 be alright” Brodie smiled locking eyes with Molly

“Oh I” Molly stammered

“Nothing too fancy, maybe a nice sit down then a pub quiz” Brodie replied

“I, I don’t know.” Molly said, looking down.

“Oh ok” Brodie said as he started to wheel away “I just thought... never mind”

“Oh Brodie, I’m sorry, it’s just a lot has gone on and the last time I dated someone new from work he turned out to be James Moriarty.” Molly said “I’ve always seem to attract a type, well minus Tom, I seem to be attracted to the wrong men and you are new here and I”

Molly stopped talking an bit her lip, there she was again spouting off at the mouth making things worse.

“I understand” Brodie said coming around the table and taking Molly’s hand “I wanted to ask you out the first day I met you but I didn’t want seem, creepy or needy”

Molly just nodded.

“Maybe just a pub date?” She finally spoke “It’s Wednesday the Boogaloo in Highgate has a pop culture on called Who Shot Bambi? It starts at 8. They have great food too. Their hamburgers are quite delicious”

“Pop culture quiz you say.” Brodie smiled. “Sounds good, we meet there or I can pick you up?”

“Let’s meet there, for now, say 7:15, it can get quite full” Molly said still looking at her hands.

“Perfect” Brodie smiled “I look forward to it”

Brodie turned and left the morgue heading back to the lab.

Molly shut her eyes. How could she be so stupid, she told herself there was no more getting scared, not everyone was someone looking to get to Sherlock though her. Brodie came highly recommended to the lab; he socialized well with others and he was perfect. He made her feel good, she was relaxed around him and if she misspoke he didn’t make her feel super awkward. She could run off at the mouth and say the wrong thing and he would just smile and add his own little jokes that made everything better.

Molly smiled. He had worked in Afghanistan, maybe he knew John. There were a lot of soldiers there, but Brodie had been in the medical field, perhaps they ran into each other. Sher would ask John. Not now but eventually. John was still dealing with so much, to bring up the war again may not be the best.

“Ok Mr. Underwood, let’s see which one of the billion ways to die got you.”

Chapter Text

Mycroft looked over the duvet at the sleeping form in front of him. Greg softly snored as the sun started to pass thought the small crack in the curtains.

He reached up and caressed Greg’s cheek causing the man’s face to turn towards him. Mycroft leaned forward and kissed Greg.

Greg’s eyes opened and he smiled though the kiss, playfully running his tongue along Mycroft’s lips. Mycroft responded by pulling Greg closer and slipping his tongue deep into Greg’s mouth, Greg gave a small growl and his moved the duvet and pushed his hips against Mycroft’s.

Mycroft moved his mouth to Greg’s neck, alternating between gently sucking the flesh and flicking his tongue along the muscles as they flexed when Greg nibbled at Mycroft’s ear.

“I wish we could stay like this forever” Mycroft said almost breathless.

“Why can’t we?” Greg asked moving his kisses and bites down Mycroft’s shoulder.

“Appointment with the events coordinator at Wakehurst, the car is picking us up at nine and we have to be there at 10:30” Mycroft practically moaned out as Greg slid his hand into Mycroft pyjama bottoms.

“Shh it’s only 7:30 we have plenty of time” Greg said Easing Mycroft only his back and carefully moving on top of him.

“Oh… oh… ok” Mycroft gave in as he ran his hands down Greg’s chest.

Greg responded by leaning down and kissing Mycroft as hard as he could.

The door behind them started to creak open. Greg quickly laid beside Mycroft, had still under covers which Mycroft had pulled up over them as Tabitha came in with Winslow the butler each carrying large serving trays.

“Good Moring. Breakfast in bed just like you asked for Mr. Holmes” Tabitha smiled as they set the trays on the small table between the chairs at the window. “Oh sorry, did you forget” She smiled knowingly. “I’ll just leave that here. Remember your car is at nine”

 

She smiled Greg and Mycroft blushed as she and Winslow exited.

Once the door clicked shut, Greg tightened his grip on Mycroft and moved him back on to his back

“Now where were we?” he smiled as he went back to it.

 

=-=-=-=-=

Greg looked around the exterior of the building. Wakehurst Mansion was gorgeous. He had been here twice in his childhood for wedding of distant family members. He had wanted to get married here when he married Margaret, but she wanted the destination wedding in Ibiza. She got sunburned at the reception and blamed everyone but herself.

Mycroft gave his had a squeeze as the events coordinator gave them a bit of history about the mansion and the surrounding gardens and area it was a late 16th-century mansion and a mainly 20th-century garden.

“Wakehurst Place mansion was built by Sir Edward Culpeper in 1590. It originally formed a complete court-yard prior to being altered various times, and currently has an E-shaped plan. Wakehurst was bought in 1694 by Dennis Lyddell, comptroller of the Royal Navy treasurer’s accounts and briefly MP for Harwich. His son Richard Liddell, Chief Secretary for Ireland and MP for Bossiney, was obliged by financial pressure to pass the estate to his younger brother Charles. The house rated an illustration in Joseph Nash, The Mansions of England in the Olden Time” Flora the event’s coordinator said as the made their way into the building. “The gardens were largely created by Gerald Loder (later Lord Wakehurst) who purchased the estate in 1903 and spent 33 years developing the gardens. He was succeeded by Sir Henry Price, under whose care the Loder plantings matured, Sir Henry left Wakehurst to the nation in 1963 and the Royal Botanic Gardens took up a lease from the National Trust in 1965.”

Mycroft and Greg nodded as they admired the front hall.

“Much of Kenneth Branagh's 2006 film As You Like It, was filmed on location at Wakehurst.” Flora said with a smile

“It’s where I first saw it and first fell in love with its architectural design and beautiful grounds” Mycroft smiled

“We can use the garden for the ceremony and then move inside for the reception right?” Greg asked.

“Yes. We can seat up to 140 for each” Flora replied

“More than enough” Mycroft said. They had already discussed the guest list and while Mycroft would have every right to go big with all his contacts that should be invited. They decided the wedding would be small and then later they would hold a reception and invite all the dignitaries and contacts that would not be at the wedding.

“I have a list of all our preapproved event suppliers” Flora said handing them a folder.

Greg took it and started flipping through it.

“We can get a photo booth” Greg smiled as he landed on the page of event entertainment.

Oh that would be wonderful” Mycroft replied “You should see Sherlock in one of those.”

“I have still have the strip of photos in a box somewhere” Greg laughed.

“What dates in July do you have available” Mycroft asked

“I have a list right here.” Flora said handing over a sheet of paper.

“When did you say your cousin is back from his work term in America?” Mycroft said taking Greg’s hand.

“July 6th” Greg replied.

“Ok they have July 16th available” Mycroft smiled

“July 16th it is!” Greg said kissing Mycroft.

“I will get the paperwork and contract started” Flora said leading them to a small table set with tea and dainties “Give my 20 minutes”

The nodded as they say. Mycroft poured the tea as Greg looked though the vendor folder again.

“Listen to this menu.” He smiled “The Gold Menu Roasted tournedo of salmon on a cucumber, radish and asparagus ribbon, salad dressed with hollandaise, Confit chicken and smoked ham hock terrine, pickled baby beets with a light mustard dressing, Warm goats cheese spring roll with red onion marmalade, roasted hazelnuts and micro herbs. That’s just the appetizers”

“Sound delicious what are the mains?” Mycroft asked sipping his tea

“Pan roasted breast of Barbary duck, blackcurrant and juniper jam, boulangère potatoes, carrots and broad beans with a duck jus, Scotch fillet of beef with cassis poached beetroot, glazed potato fondant, and carrot and tender stem broccoli mornay, Pan fried sea bass, crab beignets with lobster bisque, spinach and feves, Pillows of spinach and ricotta tortellini with wild mushroom ragu” Greg read off “that is a lot of food. There’s desert included too. Bitter chocolate delice, with salted caramel ice cream, popcorn and chocolate paper, Kaffir lime cream with caramelized puff pastry crust, roasted mango and coriander syrup Earl grey crème brûlée with lavender sable, also includes tea and truffles”

“You’re making me hungry” Mycroft laughed.

“£56.75 per person, 140 people that’s £7945.00 in food alone” Greg said raising his eyebrows

“But it sound so lovely.” Mycroft said with a wicked smile. “I will make a tasting appointment”

“Oh ok” Greg said looking back at the folder “Late night crepe station, late night cheese board of cheese tower, late night nachos. After all that food earlier having all that seems overkill”

“Maybe the cheese” Mycroft said “Late night nibbles after dancing” Greg nodded “what is their wine and spirits list like?”

Greg listed off the selections for dinner, ”They do a cash bar too.”

“Nonsense we will have an open bar” Mycroft replied

“That may be dangerous with my cousin Killian” Greg smiled

“I’ll put a security detail on him” Mycroft smiled.

“They do cakes but I’m going to make our cake” Greg said closing the folder

“Oh” Mycroft looked up from his tea “you are ok with that”

“Yeah I want to make it special, and I don’t know if others make the one I want us to have?”

“The Chocolate Extravaganza!?” Mycroft asked eyes lighting up.

“Yeah, but a bit fancier” Greg said blushing “It’s our cake, the first cake I ever made you”

Mycroft smiled as Flora returned.

“Ok I have all your paperwork. Just need a few signatures” She said setting down the papers as Greg put a date square into his mouth.

The read over them then signed. Mycroft took Greg’s hands in his.

“This just makes it so real. We’re getting married” Mycroft smiled

Greg smiled and kissed Mycroft.

“It’s going to be one of the best days ever” Greg smiled.

“And we have so much to do. Finalize the menu, pick the flowers, I’ll handle the band” Mycroft started as they finished with Flora and headed back to the waiting car.

“You are going to handle the band?” Greg asked.

“Yes, I have a surprise for you, if it all works out” Mycroft smiled “I cannot make a cake or design our wedding attire, but I can give you a special gift of music, you love music and so it is the best gift I can give.”

Greg pulled Mycroft close and kissed him tight. Their driver smiled as he opened the door.

“We need to pick ceremony music as well.” Mycroft said as they got in the car.

“First we need to pick out wedding invitations and send those out” Greg added

“Oh yes of course. Perhaps we can stop into see the gentleman who makes the invitations for our government parties. He showed me this leather like design one once that wasn’t right for the event in question at the time but would be perfect for us” Mycroft said laying his head on Greg’s shoulder as Greg wrapped his arm around his waist.

“Ah Everett that guy who did up the Valentines dinner invites for parliament, he’s got a great eye for design” Greg smiled “He said his door is always open, we’ll stop by on our way home. And then you are mine and all mine for the rest of the day. We’re going to lie in bed and do nothing but maybe watch the match tonight on the big telly.”

“I rather fancied a bubble bath” Mycroft slyly smiled

“Oh I can defiantly go for that” Greg said kissing him “But what should I do with you for this hour and a half ride back to London”

“Oh I can think of a few things” Mycroft said hitting the button beside him and raising the privacy window between them and their driver.

“Oh I’m getting some ideas now” Greg said with a growl.

Chapter Text

Sherlock jolted awake as the crash echoed in the quiet flat. He looked to his left only to see the spot where John slept empty. Sherlock hurried out of bed and out into the living area.

“Stop!” John said from the doorway between the kitchen and the sitting area. “Slippers, there’s glass everywhere.”

Sherlock looked to the floor and saw the glass and liquid. A bottle of whisky was now shattered and its contents, not too much though, spreading across the floor. John stood in his pyjama bottoms, and his wellingtons on, must have been the closest shoe.

Sherlock returned to the bedroom and put on his slippers. John was sweeping up the glass into the dustpan.

“I couldn’t sleep and I…” John started

“Came out for a drink.” Sherlock interjected, John hung his head “That was a full bottle yesterday.”

“I, I try, but I can’t.” John said tears forming.

Sherlock stepped forward and hugged him.

“I try to be open I try to be truthful honest.” John said “but there’s so much more than Mary and the explosions. I’m afraid if I open my mouth and start talking, everything that comes out will make you not want to stay.”

“Why. You killed a man to save me with in the first week of meeting me” Sherlock said. “What could you have possible done before that that would scare me away?”

“I, I can’t.” John said pulling away.

“It doesn’t have to be tonight” Sherlock said placing a hand on John’s shoulder.

John stared out the window at the street below.

“I need to tell you, you have every right to know. I know so much about your past but I have barely scratched the surface of my life, my past.” John said reaching up and holding Sherlock’s hand. He lifted it off his shoulder and kissed it.

“I haven’t told you everything.” Sherlock replied. “You know I was a drug addict, you know I lived on the streets before I met Greg. But like you said that is only the surface.”

“Perhaps it’s time for a different drink” John said turning and looking at Sherlock. “Tea, biscuits, and a nice long chat, both of us”

Sherlock nodded. “In the Morning, we’ll ask Mrs. Hudson to take Rosie for a little while.”

John nodded and moved in closer to Sherlock. He wrapped his arms around him and held him close, head resting on Sherlock’s chest. He was trembling. Sherlock wrapped his arms around him and kissed to top of his head. Hopefully eventually, they would both be alright.

 

=-=-=-=

John sat in his chair looking across the ottoman at Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson had agreed to take Rosie for the day. She also made them tea and sandwiches and other assorted snacks for their talk.

Sherlock sipped his tea he was looking down at the floor.

“Who should go first?” Sherlock asked.

“You.” John replied “I still haven’t the courage.”

Sherlock nodded.

“When I was five years old I had a dog, a beautiful red Irish Setter. I called him Redbeard. He was the first mate to my Pirate Captain Yellow Beard. We had many adventures together. He was my best friend. He am my little sister, Wilhelmina, we called her Willa. She was two years younger than me. Redbeard was used to playing with me, he wasn’t use to playing with Willa. He didn’t understand that her smaller stature meant that she couldn’t play the same way he and I played. He didn’t mean to hurt her. He was just excited to greet her after he nap. She fell down the stairs. Hit her head on the way down. She was dead before my mother found her, Redbeard sitting beside her. Redbeard had to go. The city deemed him a dangerous dog. So in one week I lost my precious little sister and I lost my best friend.” Sherlock stopped and sipped his tea more.

John didn’t know what to say, or if he should say anything. He decided to let Sherlock compose himself and continue.

“I don’t remember the funeral. I only remember the time after it, the loneliness. Mycroft was different too. He no longer wanted to play. He started calling himself the smarter one. Constantly put me down. When I would step out of line he would just whisper Redbeard, and soon I just stopped playing with him. Mycroft was the first to go away to boarding school. Left when he was 14. By the time I reached Eaton, Mycroft was in Oxford, and we talked only at Holidays. By the time I reached Cambridge we never talked. He would pop round occasionally, to gloat about his position with the government. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out my place in the world. You know about myself as a child trying to solve the Carl Powers murder. I didn’t know how to use this deduction thing as people called it, without angering people. I didn’t know how to turn it off. Until I met Victor. Victor seemed to be the only person who understood me. That need for action, to solve things, to well to be me. He was the one who first injected me with cocaine. It settled me. I didn’t need the thrill of the chase, the action of the case. Cocaine got my blood pumping and my heart racing in the same way. And all within the comfort of Victors flat. Mum, Dad, and I think even Mycroft thought I would take my chemistry degree to the PHD level. Work in a lab, criminalistics, or teach.” Sherlock chuckled. “Could you imagine me a professor or a teacher”

“I don’t know you’re a pretty good dance teacher” John smiled.

Sherlock gave a smile “It’s easy with a talented student such as yourself.”

“You flatter me and my two left feet” John smiled again.

Sherlock smiled and bit into a biscuit.

“What happened after university?” John asked. Sherlock topped up his tea and continued.

“Victor and I moved into a residence in Mayfair. There he kept me. I wasn’t his roommate. I wasn’t his boyfriend or even friend. I was his pet. Victor wasn’t just a drug dealer he was a drug designer. I was his test subject. If he got behind on the bills, or owed someone I would be lent as payment.” Sherlock stopped and stood. He looked in the mirror over the fireplace. “I was a shell, barely functioning. I was wandering back from making a payment on behalf of Victor when I stumbled upon a crime scene. I watched the police and saw what they were missing. So I offered my help, got arrested for my troubles. Victor beat me that night for being involved with the police. Lestrade found me passed out on the street. I had wandered out in the night. Lestrade took me in, got me to a hospital. He called Mycroft. I was put in my fourth and last rehab stay. Lestrade came to visit. Actually he came more than Mycroft. He wanted to know if my powers as he put it could be used on any case. So he gave me a choice. If I stayed clean I could have access to all the cases I wanted. The excitement, the high I got from working cases was better than the high any drug could give me. So I have been clean… more or less, since.”

“Until the Wedding, and then the plane.” John interjected.

“Yes. I thought I was losing my natural high after the wedding. As for the plane, well I thought I was never going to see you again so I planned to overdose. And I am ever glad I didn’t” Sherlock gave a small smile.

John nodded and sipped his tea.

“Lestrade saved your life and you still can’t call him Greg.” John laughed.

“If I called him Greg he would probably keel over from shock. I admit at first it was because I couldn’t be bothered to learn his name. Now it’s a game. He gets annoyed but I called him Greg the other day and he practically pouted. I will admit though I am running out of names that begin with a G” Sherlock looked up at John who smiled and gave a laugh.

“I guess it’s my turn.” John said sitting up straighter in the chair as the smile faded and the laugh died.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Sherlock said. “If you aren’t ready.”

“No. I need to do this now. It’s only fair, you opened up, my turn.” John took a deep breath. “My father kicked me out of the house when I was 14. He caught me with another boy up by the rugby field. We weren’t doing much, just kissing. But it was enough. My father had been abusive all my life. Mostly to my mother, then as Harry and I got older he started in on us too. It’s sort of how I decided to become a doctor. I would watch them work every time we were at the hospital. I’d watch in fascination as they set my arm or stitched up Harry’s cheek. How gentle they were tapping up the broken ribs of ten year old me or talking Harry away from suicide when she was 12. Father had already kicked Harry out of the house a few years earlier. This was after she brought home her first girlfriend. So it wasn’t too jarring to me to get kicked out. I know my mom was disappointed. I had a girlfriend at the time who she adored. But I didn’t really know what I wanted. And Frank was a good friend from school. We were on the rugby team together. We were young and curious. Frank is now happily married too Angelica Waterrose and have five kids. His parents really didn’t care who he snogged. As long as his marks stayed good and his performance on the rugby field didn’t falter that was all that mattered.” John stopped and looked out the window. It was starting to rain.

John adjusted his seat on the chair and looked at his tea. He never had told anyone save for a few therapists all this.

“Where did you go?” Sherlock asked

“At first I just stayed on the streets. I would sleep in the rugby equipment shed. Shower in the locker room and do my laundry in the custodian’s room. It was a custodian who discovered me at the end of fall term. I was making a meal in the school kitchen. He took me to the headmaster who took me to the police station who took me to child services who put me in foster care.” John said setting the tea down and holding his hands in front of him. “I thought it would be better. I had a room, it was warm. I had food on the table, and they didn’t beat me. But I still had no one. I didn’t know where Harry was. The family was nice enough but they had taken in a lot of kids and never really stat with any of us. So I was merely just existing. I saw Harry again at the trial. My Father was arrested for killing my mother. I guess with Harry and I both out of the house her had no one else to beat and one night he went to far, she fell and died. Harry and I were both brought into the trial as witnesses against our father. I was 17, nearly 18. The trial was so long drawn out over the year. I wasn’t able to take my first option year for playing rugby for Loughborough, which was fine. I had a lot of time to think while held up in that hotel room. Once the trial was over I walked down to the recruitment office and spoke to an officer. Told him what I wanted to do. Be a doctor and be a soldier. They were more than happy to help. I signed up. Did my basic then was sent to King College and did my medical training there. My final years and internship was at St. Bart’s. I worked at a VA hospital for a bit. Then the war broke out. And I shipped out. My first tour in Afghanistan I was in the Helmand province. I was at a more rear base. The worst of the worst were brought to us. There was me, Riley Sutter, Francis Altman and Judith Warner. We were the doctors. Only Riley and I had full military training. Francis and Judith were civilian doctors who were recruited to work far from the front lines. Riley and I were under the command of Major Sholto whom you have met. The three of us were close. Sholto was like a father to me. When Riley and I got close he looked the other way. As long as we brought him back treats when on leave. Fine whiskey, porn, cigars, and other trinkets from Asia and Australia he took care of us. And we helped him get women, clean women. And we all took care of each other. There were others too but Riley and I were his favorites. We did three tours together. The final one being a front of base, front line hospital an hour and a half outside Kandahar. Think M*A*S*H but with no hijinks and no stoppage in the flow of wounded.” John closed his eyes and squeezed the arm of the chair tight.

Sherlock stood from his own chair and moved the tea service to his chair and sat on the ottoman holding John’s hand.

“I proposed to Riley over a soldier we were stitching back together. A nurse asked what we were planning on doing after the war. I replied I don’t know, get married. Riley answered only if he could wear the dress.” John gave a soft laugh as tears formed in his eyes “Sholto was on his week away leave in Kabul. Drinks, smokes and women week he called it. We got a call to move out. There was wounded and they needed full field medical. Riley and I suited up and headed out. We packed up 23 soldiers for transport. Mostly lost limbs and shrapnel wounds from the IEDs the convoy hit. We were just finishing up, tagging the dead for their own transport, when the ambush happened. A group of Taliban led by a few former British and American military men who had gone bad.”

“Sebastian Moran” Sherlock said. John nodded

“Had a few run ins with him on base in the month leading up to the ambush. He and his team thought they were pretty important. They botched a mission up near the Pakistan boarder and it killed civilians. So they were to be sent back, dishonorably discharged. Sebastian didn’t take kindly to that so he joined with the militant group. Looking back and knowing what we know now. I believe Moriarty had a hand in that.” John took a deep breath and squeezed Sherlock’s hand.

“What happened in the ambush John?” Sherlock asked

“Men started dropping. Back up was called. I was trying to protect on one the last still living patients we had. That’s when the pain tore through my body. The bullet had entered through the front and exited thought the back. Shattered my shoulder blade, as well as my first and second ribs, both front and back. I have plates on them now and a few on my shoulder blade, as well as a rod and two screws in my collarbone. I didn’t fall down. I stared at the bleeding wound in my shoulder and sort of lay down. Riley was running towards me when the next shot went off. Riley just stopped. I didn’t know what was going on as I was starting to lose consciousness. Riley looked down at me and there was blood running down his face. The bullet had caught him just under his helmet. He didn’t die instantly. He died three days later in a bed next to me in. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany. We were taken there before being brought back to England. Neither he nor I and many others were not stable enough to make the full flight. I was given a day pass to go to his funeral. His mother cried. A lot. She said I could come at any time and visit. But I haven’t been back since.” John stopped as his voice caught in his throat. The tears that had been building finally came.

Sherlock pulled him close and held him as the sobs rocked his body. It was a hard cry, a violent cry. John buried his face deep into Sherlock’s chest. After a few minutes he moved his head so that his ear rested on Sherlock’s chest so he could hear his heartbeat. He took a deep breath.

“Everyone I care about dies. My mother, yes I cared for her. I only wish I could have gotten her away from my father. Riley, Mary. I almost lost you. I did lose you once and I almost took my own leap off of St. Bart’s roof. Greg, Mrs. Hudson and meeting Mary helped that. Then you came back to me, and they tried to take you away again. Twice. It takes its toll on a person.” John said as the tears slowly stopped.

“I will never leave you again.” Sherlock said kissing the top of John’s head.

“I want you to officially adopt Rosie. I want you and I listed as her fathers. I want her name to be Rosamund Alice Martha Watson-Holmes” John said moving and resting his head on Sherlock’s shoulder. “ And I would like to be John Hamish Watson-Holmes.”

“I am glad you feel that way. I would love to be William Sherlock Scott Watson-Holmes” Sherlock smiled.

“Well then there’s a mouthful.” John gave a small smile as he ran his hand though Sherlock’s hair. He shivered.

“John?”

“I want to may you but I think I am cursed.” John replied

“Nonsense, no such thing.” Sherlock smiled “But if you would like we can burn some sage or call in an exorcist”

“Deal” John laughed “No matter how sad or angry I am. You make me feel better.”

“Unless I am the one who made you mad.” Sherlock chuckled

“So true, but now I have Rosie to help me with that.”

“Speaking of our fair Miss Rosie, should we go and get her.” Sherlock asked

“We asked Mrs. Hudson to take her for the day. It’s her nap time and, the day is still young.” John said slowly moving away from Sherlock and standing. He took Sherlock’s hand and pulled him to a standing position. “I have an idea for how we can spend the rest of the day”

Sherlock raised an eyebrow as John led him to the bedroom.

“Now future Mr. Sherlock Watson-Holmes… Get undressed”

Chapter Text

John settled into the chair in the large meeting room. HE was still attending the group sessions and it was starting to help a lot more. Now that he had been open and honest with Sherlock it was starting to be easier to be open and honest with himself.

The group was roughly the same size as it had been the day John joined. A few had left. Karen remained. She didn’t talk much still but she looked to be getting better.

John was starting to put on weight too. He hadn’t thrown up after a meal in almost a week and he was up to eating more than one or two bites.

Today however John was exceptionally nervous. Today was the day he revealed himself to the group. That he was John Watson and it was he that the bombs had been meant for.

Sherlock had offered to come in with him but John said he would be alright on his own. Sherlock and Rosie could go enjoy the beautiful evening in the park.

John looked up as Diane entered; she sat on the arm of John’s chair.

“Are you sure you are ready for this?” She asked

“Yes” He replied and Diane went to stand in the middle of the group.

“This evening John would like to start off” Diane said as John shakily stood.

“Hello.” He started “I know we’ve used only first names here but I feel that if I am to be a part of your group then it is only fair that you should know who I am. I am John Watson and I was the target of the explosion on Baker Street, me and my partner Sherlock Holmes. We are friends with Gregory Lestrade the target at The MET. Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother was the target on Carlton Terrace. And our friend Molly Hooper was the target at St Bart’s.”

John looked up Karen and a few others looked sympathetic, some looked shocked, others mad.

“We were targeted because we stopped a global criminal James Moriarty and we, well Sherlock and Mycroft brought down nearly his entire network. I’m sure you all remember the Holmes suicide from a few years ago. The Moriarty trial for breaking into the crown jewels. Sherlock faked his death. Moriarty did not. He had the world on a string and was ready to sever it but as fate would have it Moriarty took ill. A brain tumor. He though his coup de grâce would be taking down Sherlock. The man who was trying to end his criminal reign. He failed. The network was lost. What we didn’t know is that Moriarty had a heart under all the layers of hate and evil madness. He had a fiancé. A man named Sebastian Moran, a man I was familiar with. He is the one who gave me this” John said pulling down his loose fitting jumper from the neck to reveal the scar on his shoulder, a scar only two people in his life (other than doctors) had seen.

“Sebastian was a mentally disturbed man to begin with. He joined the military specifically to blow stuff up and to shoot people. He was recruited by Moriarty and became his top man. And his lover. They killed a lot of people and they destroyed a lot of property and stole a lot of money. Sherlock put an end to that. And Sebastian retaliated. We never saw it coming. I wish there was a way to go back to prevent this all.”

John stopped as tears ran down his cheeks. His stomach churned and his head ached.

Alice, Mindy and Donny got up and left. Karen stood and walked over to john and wrapped her arms around him. Killian, Josie, and Joey did the same. The other looked like they really didn’t know how to react. After the hugs, they sat. John remained standing.

“I am a messed up person. I don’t make excuses though. I was kicked out of the house as a teen for exploring my sexuality but I don’t blame my childhood for my actions. I only blame myself. I blame myself for not saving my wife. I blame myself for Sherlock feeling like he had to fake his death. I blame myself for Sherlock nearly going to exiled for protecting me against another mad man. I blame myself for everything that happened with each and every one of you and the losses you suffered” John shook as he sat back in the chair and pulled his legs up knees under his chin.

Mindy stood in the doorway.

“I’m not mad at you for what happened. I’m mad you weren’t upfront with us. No one can blame you or Sherlock or any of your friends for the actions of another person.” Mindy said as she returned to her seat. “But you should have been open with us.”

“But it is his fault!” Donny said reentering “If he and that weirdo Sherlock Holmes weren’t running around playing amateur detective and his gushing blogger one of this would have happened.”

“Actually.” Josie spoke up “it would have, and it would have been worse. Moriarty didn’t exist because of Sherlock Holmes. He already existed. People Say he committed his first murder when he was still a child. It was the talk of the MET back when Moriarty came on the scene. A Carl Powers.”

“Sherlock tried to solve it.” John said quietly “He was eight and the police dismissed him as a nosy child. It’s why he’s so insistent now. Why he makes himself heard. He never wants another case to go unsolved, let a killer go with no justice. So he makes himself heard. I started blogging about it. Not only to help me though my own issues but it spread the word about Sherlock more. So he could help more people.”

“And that’s a good thing” Joey spoke up

“Yes.” Josie continued “Could you imagine what would have happened if Sherlock Holmes and John Watson hadn’t been there to stop him”

“I can’t say much but I know there was a planned attack on Parliament” John said “Rest is still very hush hush.”

“Well I say the police could have handled it.” Donny said still leaning in the door way

“Maybe eventually” Joey said “But not as quick and not with such little collateral damage.”

“And he had them fooled. He was smarter than them, a genius” Karen remarked “I read about it after the suicide off St. Bart’s.”

John just nodded.

Donny left. Mindy went to follow him but Diane told her to just leave him. He needed his space.

The meeting continued with the others talking about their own progression. Joey finally donated all his father’s clothes and cleaned out his father’s flat. Patricia had started talking to her sister again. And Karen, Karen was starting to go out more. Not just for doctors or therapy but to go for walks in the park, she went and saw a movie. She went to her husband and son’s graves. She said that was the biggest step for her. She hadn’t been back since the funeral and she wasn’t sure if she would ever return.

She talked about how she sat on the grave and read her son his favorite stories. She told her husband about her adventures in fixing a hole in their wall. She said she cried a lot, and she curled up with a blanket and sang her son a lullaby before leaving.

John wiped his eyes. He hadn’t been back to Mary’s grave since her funeral. He hadn’t even looked at a picture of her. They had plenty. He and Sherlock made a vow to have Rosie know who her mother was. Not fully but she would know she had a mother who loved her dearly even before she met her, mother who started a new life for her, a caring loving mother.

Perhaps they should go visit. John watched as the others started to leave, Karen gave him another small hug and headed out. Diane looked down at John then knelt beside him.

“Would you like a one on one, or just some quiet time?” She asked

“Just a bit of quiet.” John replied.

Diane smiled and patted his arm as she stood.

“I’ll lock the door. Take as long as you need.” She said dipping into her office.

John nodded and stared out into the room.

He had been open, honest, he said how he was feeling. That was supposed to make it better right? He had deiced that he needed to see Mary’s grave, he started to make a plan to get better, that was supposed to help, right? Then why was he feeling as bad as he did the first day he went to see Diane?

 

-=-=-

Rosie giggled, the butterfly that had landed on her arm was tickling her. Sherlock smiled, her laugh made the worries of the world nearly melt away.

“She’s very patient, and gentle” a familiar voice said.

Sherlock looked up to see Judy and Elijah coming up the path. Elijah happily sitting in a stroller eating some raspberries.

“Hello Judy” Sherlock said with a smile.

“You remembered.” Judy smiled

“I have a very good memory” Sherlock smiled

“I was actually sort of hoping you would be here. It’s always nice to see a friendly face.” Judy smiled as she sat “Are you still waiting for your friend this week”

“Yes, You may actually get to meet him” Sherlock smiled “He’s just text and said he’s on his way.”

“Oh lovely!” Judy smiled as Elijah offered Rosie a berry.

“Oh sorry Elijah Rosie still can’t eat those, she’s still too little.” Sherlock said with a soft smile. Elijah adjusted his hand and offered the berry to Sherlock “Why thank you Elijah”

Sherlock took the berry and ate it. it was the perfect amount of sweet to tart ratio.

“They’re good aren’t they?” Judy said “My mother bought them they’re organic and fair trade and sweet and sour and expensive” Judy giggle

“John and I rarely get fresh fruit. We rarely eat. I guess I haven’t been the best companion for him on his healing journey. He couldn’t eat from injuries and stress and myself. I rarely eat. I just get so busy so caught up in stuff and I forget. I often wondered if I was causing more harm than good to John. But I think we’re both getting in a better place.” Sherlock smiled and looked at Judy. “How have you been? It’s been a few weeks.”

“I have been well. Thank you for asking. Not many do. Elijah has decided that he wants to behave and not run all over. He had a nightmare about getting stuck in the pond the night after we first met you. I had wanted to come back and see if you were here the following week then the week after that but life as it was had other plans.” Judy said taking the empty berry container from Elijah and putting it in the bag on the back of the stroller.

“Oh you would have missed us. Rosie and I didn’t come with John last week and the week before we came up went and did a bit of shopping.” Sherlock said as he watched down the path. A familiar figure was slowly making its way towards them. John seemed off. Sherlock stood. And headed towards him “John”

“I, I need to go home Sherlock” John said quietly. He looked up as Judy stood and Elijah waved. “Oh you’re busy”

“It’s ok. John this is Judy and Elijah I told you about them. We can head home it’s ok” Sherlock said taking John’s hand.

“I don’t really feel that well.” John said leaning on Sherlock.

“I have my car if you need a ride.” Judy spoke up.

“That would be wonderful. Thank you” Sherlock said moving his arm around John to support him.

John laid his head on Sherlock’s shoulder before collapsing into Sherlock.

“John! John!” Sherlock gently shook the unconscious man as he laid him down on the ground.

Judy was already on her mobile calling for an ambulance.

Sherlock struggled to remain calm. What was wrong. He was getting betting, he hadn’t been sick he had been nervous about the group session but not sick.

The ambulance wailed in the distance, Judy moved to the edge of the clearing and waved them over.

The paramedics started asking Sherlock questions and he wasn’t sure how to answer. So he told them everything. The paramedics attached monitors to John’s heart.

“Heart rate elevated. Has he ever had panic or anxiety attacks?” The paramedic asked

“He has dealt with PTSD.” Sherlock answered. “He was injured in Afghanistan six years ago. It went untreated for a while but he was doing well till the explosions four months ago.”

“Ok. It looks like he had an attack and it overwhelmed him. We’re going to transport him to hospital and have the doctors make sure ok.” The Paramedic said as the bundled John up on the stretcher. Sherlock just nodded. “Will you and the little one be riding with him?”

“Yes, I’m his fiancé and this is our daughter” Sherlock answered as they made their way to the ambulance. John was starting to stir. “It’s ok John. It’s ok”

Forgotten by the pond Judy looked down at the now dozing Elijah.

“Guess I gave you a little too much medication in your juice. Sleeping already.” Judy said as she pushed the stroller towards the street. “All that work to redo my make-up and John wouldn’t have even been aware if I had still been Karen and looking him in the eye.”

Judy real name Eurus Holmes tossed her wig into the back on top of “Karen’s” clothes. She strapped The sleeping child into the car seat and got into the drivers seat. The drive back to the house was not long. 44 Eaton Square, The previous owner was well still the owner.

It was the perfect place of operation for her.

It was easy to move in and out of Sherrinford. Once Eurus had gained control of the guards it was easy to come and go as she like. Not that she did it much. But when one of her little spies told her of Sebastian and his plan, she had to help. But he botched that and plan b went into action.

Eurus with a little makeup, a short wig, a compressing body stocking and corset over baggy clothing Eurus easily became Karen, the sickly widow of an explosion victim. Add to that a dead child and the stories and memories were enough to upset John greatly a few key trigger words and he was shaking. The added injection of a drug designed by a friend of hers and it was enough to send John into a full blown cardiac episode presenting as a panic attack.

Eurus gave a small smile as she carried the child into the house. She entered the room where his mother was. Irene glared up at Eurus.

“Don’t worry Irene he is fine, just gave him a bit too much made him sleep. He’ll be fine” Eurus said laying the child on the bed.

Irene pulled at the cuff that chained her to the bed. “If you hurt my son, I swear I will kill you.”

“How, you can’t even get out of your own handcuffs” Eurus gave a small laugh.

“Everything is going well. John and Sherlock are just enough mentally compromised that they aren’t settled. John feels so guilty for his wife’s death. So guilty about the explosions, it couldn’t have been better if I had planned it.”

Eurus laughed as she took of the blonde wig and the leg brace and stretched.

“How has our other guest been?” She asked turning to face Irene “Have you heard her stirring at all?”

“She was crying earlier. What you are doing is cruel. She doesn’t remember you, or Sherlock, or Mycroft.” Irene said anger rising in her

“But she does, now she does, it’s amazing what techniques exist to unlock memories even from someone who was so young when they lost them.” Eurus gave an evil smile. “Now she has to deal with knowing that They all thought she was dead. Uncle Rudy always did think he was doing the right thing when really he was making it worse. You see. She now knows that I pushed her down the stairs. And she knows why. I hated her. Sherlock always wanted to play with her and that stupid dog. So I pushed her. Oh you should have seen the blood. She was in the hospital for weeks. During that time did Sherlock spend any of it with me? No he and that stupid dog made cards to take to Willa. So the dog had to go.”

“You killed a dog?!” Irene exclaimed

“Dogs are nothing” Eurus replied “The loss drove Sherlock to believe that he had lost Willa and the dumb dog. Willa was still in a coma so uncle Rudy believed that it would be best to just have everyone think that she was dead. At the time it was thought that she would never wake up anyway. So I was locked away and forgotten. Sherlock doesn’t even know I exist and Mummy, Daddy and Mycroft have all made sure to keep him in the dark. They don’t want to upset their precious Sherlock. Mummy and Daddy think I am dead too. They think Willa and I were killed in the same hospital fire. Reality I was put in prison. Willa woke up just after her 4th Birthday. Uncle Rudy thought reintroducing her to Sherlock would send the memories of me flooding back in and that it would be of great mental detriment. So Willa was told her family died in the fire and she was adopted by Uncle Rudy’s secretary Agnes and was raised as Willa Masterson. The only lingering effect the brain injury she had was that she gets migraines and has some balance issues but she’s done quite well for herself. She’s a first chair cellist for the London Philharmonic. And now she knows that the man who paid for her education. The man who helped her get her audition is none other than her eldest brother Mycroft Holmes. He could have told mummy and daddy or even Sherlock when Rudy told him we were alive. But no. He befriended her. Became her benefactor when Agnes died and took care of her like a brother, but all while hiding her from the rest of her family.”

Eurus looked across the hall at the room that held her little sister.

“I am going to have so much fun when all this comes to a head. But first I still have so much to do and a wedding to prepare for. The Government is marrying the Inspector” With that Eurus exited and headed downstairs to plan.

Chapter Text

Sherlock sat next to the hospital bed. John was sleeping now Rosie curled up beside him. Greg and Mycroft had come the moment they heard.

John had had what the doctors were calling a minor cardiac episode. They were saying it was caused by stress and anxiety. John had been awake for a little bit earlier; he was upset and agitated which only caused his monitors to go off and the nurses to rush them all out of the room that just made Rosie cry.

Now John was on a mild sedative and left to sleep. The doctors wanted to monitor his heart a little more, just to see if this was a one-time thing.

Sherlock’s eyes reddened as the tears welled. John had been getting better. What had sent him off down this much worse path? He didn’t know if he should talk to Diane, he understood patient/doctor confidentiality but perhaps she could help Sherlock help John.

Was there something he wasn’t doing that he should? Was there something he was doing that he shouldn’t?

Sherlock blinked as the tears ran down his cheeks. Greg reached over and gave him a hug.

“Thank you Giles…” Sherlock started but then cut himself off “No, no, no more stupid game. You are a friend you are going to be family. You deserve respect. Thank you Greg” Sherlock said turning and facing the man.

“You sure?” Greg asked with a smiled. Sherlock nodded.

Sherlock wiped his eyes and stood. He rounded the bed and carefully climbed up wrapping his arms around John and resting his head on John’s shoulder. John’s head moved and rested on Sherlock’s.

“Perhaps you and John should take Rosie out of the city for a few days once he is better.” Mycroft said moving to sit next to Greg “Go see Mummy and Daddy.”

“I think we should go away. But we also need to go to Wells. There is someone we need to visit. Someone who was very close to John” Sherlock said quietly

Greg and Mycroft just nodded.

“The doctors say he will sleep the night. You needn’t stay.” Sherlock said looking up at the two.

“We can stay for you, keep you company if you’d like?” Greg

“No I would not be good company.” Sherlock replied “I have Rosie’s bag so I have everything I need for overnight.”

“We can bring by some clean clothes for both of you tomorrow and more of Rosie’s bottles.” Mycroft said

“That would be wonderful.” Sherlock gave a small smiled.

Greg leaned down and kissed Rosie’s forehead and gave Sherlock another hug before he and Mycroft left.

Sherlock cuddled in closer to John and slept.

=-=-=-=-=-=

Greg lay in bed next to Mycroft, he held him close his face buried in the crook of Mycroft’s neck. His hand resting on his chest moving with every breath his lover took.

Mycroft softly snored causing Greg to smile. He loved that soft little snore. It was practically adorable.

Mycroft had fallen asleep over an hour ago. Greg’s mind just wouldn’t let him settle so he could do the same.

So much was running though his mind. He was worried about John and with John ill that meant he had to worry about Sherlock as well. He didn’t have to worry about Rosie as he knew Sherlock would still take amazing care of her, but would just neglect himself.

Hopefully this was just a one-time thing. John just got overwhelmed and would be fine.

Greg sighed as he moved away from Mycroft and sat. He moved his legs over the edge of the bed and sat looking out the window. It was raining again. Nothing new lately, the weather the last few weeks had been horrid rain and storms.

Greg like the rain, he found it peaceful, calming. Well as peaceful and calm as one could get in the bustling city. But in the country side, sitting on a porch with the rain, some good music and a lager, that was heaven.

Well Greg had always pictured a few kids running around as well, but with him in his 50’s it wouldn’t be fair of to have a child now. Constantly being mistaken for a grandparent, no it was too late for them to have any of their own, but Greg vowed and so did Mycroft, to be the best uncles they could for Rosie. And Mycroft had certainly vowed that she would want for nothing as she grew older.

Greg stood his hip and knee catching as he did. He winced and sat down. He’d been pushing himself too hard. Mycroft had said so, as did Dimmock and Anderson. Even the new guy McLaughlin felt the need to remark that maybe he shouldn’t go so hard.

Greg stretched and headed down stairs. The chocolate cheesecake brownies in the fridge were calling to him.

Greg grabbed a brownie and a beer from the fridge and headed into the study. He and Mycroft had been going over some of the taskforces files when Sherlock had called about John. Greg sat at the desk and opened one up. It was on Irene and what the taskforce could find.

She disappeared for a year after Sherlock saved her from the beheading. Then turning up in Greece as a hotel owner. There were the sales records, most listed her as primary owner but listed a Richard Brook as the financer. Greg turned the page and his eyebrows raised. There was a hospital record, not only for one Irene Rochelle Adler but one for a child, Elijah William Adler. There was a document listing the father as James Aloysius Moriarty, but a second one had been issued a year ago listing father as unknown and Irene still as the mother.  There was a statement with the birth certificate change, looked like a Greek police report, someone had translated. In it Irene said she had been forced to have a child with Moriarty. She never wanted children but Moriarty wanted a legacy, an heir to his throne of criminality. He didn’t force himself on her but rather paid for the IVF treatment and paid all her medical expenses.

Elijah was nearing his 4th birthday. The birth certificate put his birth as a few days before Moriarty had himself arrested at the Tower of London, in 2011. Documents showed that Moriarty was there for the birth. To leave your new born at home, to go to your death. But the reports were in Moriarty was dying anyway from an inoperable brain tumor. He just wanted to take Sherlock down with him. He thought he could bring him down by isolating him, but making his friends and colleagues doubt him. Greg hated to admit it but there was a point when he did, he had thought what if Sherlock created it all. But no, he’d seen Sherlock in action and knowing Mycroft as he did he knew that there was no way that He would have let his little brother do all that. John never gave up either. John would never give up on Sherlock.

Seemed Irene would never give up either. Records of the hotel computers searches showed she still kept a keen eye on Sherlock. That she had texted him a few times over the years as well. Mostly a Happy Birthday or an I know you aren’t dead what are you up to text.

She had given him warning that Moran was angry. It was a text never sent though. They found it in the drafts of a phone found smashed in the office area of the hotel.

Where was Irene and was she with Elijah? Were they alright? There were some calls to the Hotel from an English number but beyond that the number was untraceable. Looked like multiple burner phones.

Greg sighed and closed the file.

Was this all really over? Moran was in jail, Moriarty dead, but why was Irene still in the wind, she’s safe now, they had no hold on her. Greg opened another file. It was on some of the network that was still intact, the factions Moran had managed to salvage or start up again. Chechnya, Serbia, Georgia, Syria, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan, there was a gang affiliate in the United States and one in Mexico along with several factions in South America.

The ones on the other side of the pond never did fall, just merely got cut off from Europe and the rest of the world. The others, Moran had worked hard to build those back up in such a short time, adding more factions to the network as he added to his militia.

Moran was in jail but there still seemed to be money flowing. No communications after Moran’s incarceration  but payments and bank transfers.

Greg made a note to see if these were automated payments, from just looking one would say no, there was no set date for a payment, but that didn’t mean that the separate dates were not arranged in advance.

There were some documents showing that the task force was trying to get banking records for Moriarty and Moran but it was proving hard. Off shore banks were notorious for not giving up records so easily.

Greg heard hurried footsteps on the stairs.

“Gregory!” Mycroft called from the hall.

“In the study love!” He called back.

Mycroft entered the study. He was getting dressed, tucking his shirt into his trousers as he made his way over to the desk.

“I couldn’t sleep thought I would go over some files.” Greg said watching Mycroft, he seemed agitated and his hand shook as he tried to button his waistcoat “Myc? Are you alright?” Greg asked standing

“She’s gone and they don’t know where she is.” Mycroft answered as Greg took his hands in his own.

“Who’s gone?” He asked.

“Willa.” Mycroft replied looking down at his hands.

“The lovely lady from the symphony? The cellist?” Greg asked confused. He knew they were close, Mycroft had worked for years with her mother and they were friends. Willa was 9 years his junior and he had become her guardian when her mother passed.

Mycroft nodded.

“She didn’t go to rehearsals so after rehearsals and dinner, Ashton Everett, the violinist she introduced us too. He went to her flat, ransacked. He reported it to the police and Anthea said their monitors just got the alert” Mycroft’s voice trembled as he talked.

Greg finished buttoning his waistcoat for him.

“I’ll come with you.” Greg said turning to head upstairs to change.

“No, Anthea is meeting me at the flat. We can handle it.’ Mycroft said putting on his jacket and heading to the door.

“You’re hiding something from me again Myc.” Greg said following him.

“Remember when I said I was this way because of something I would rather not discuss?” Mycroft asked as he pulled a coat from the closet.

“Yes” Greg replied.

“This is one part of it. I promise I will tell you all but for now I can’t.” Mycroft grabbed his umbrella and headed to the door. “Work on the task force materials or get some sleep. I will see you in the morning.”

With that Mycroft left.

Greg sighed and headed back to the study. What more was Mycroft hiding from him? She was too old to be a secret daughter? No he had photos of him and her and her mother in Blackpool.

Mycroft had introduced him to her way back when they first started dating. She was sweet. She was around 6 feet tall, her waist length hair was almost entirely black except for a wide white streak on the right side. Over a scar from the accident that killed her birth family, she had said.  She played the cello like no one Greg had heard before, so flawlessly and the melodies she played were so hauntingly beautiful.

She was dating Ashton and the two of them were going to get another violinist and viola player to play at Greg and Mycroft’s ceremony. Mycroft said Willa would be composing a piece for them.

Greg hoped she was ok, heaven forbid anyone hurt a friend of Mycroft.

Greg opened a new file and started to read. He clenched his fist and slammed it down on the table. He closed the file and took it upstairs with him to get dressed.

 

=-=-=-=

 

Mycroft looked around the flat. It was a mess but nothing was missing. Her cellos including the Stradivarius were all still in her music room. Her jewelry still in the box on her dressing table. The cushions and pillows from the couch and loveseat were strewn about the floor, the chairs on their sides.

To a casual observer it was ransacked to Mycroft and Anthea it was staged. The robbery was set to hide the fact that she hadn’t been there in over a week.

Ashton left to visit his family in France a week ago. He had checked in with Willa when he got there but not since. Not unusual, their relationship did not need constant monitoring. It was early stages, dates but no cohabitation yet. He did check with her before coming back, she didn’t respond but he figured she was already at the hall getting ready for the practice. He went straight from the train station to rehearsal. He text her and got no response so after a mandatory dinner meeting with the conductor he headed to her flat.

Her fridge was full of food; she had shopped after seeing Ashton off at the train station.

“See if we can look into any activity she had after last Sunday. See when she left the apartment and try to see where she went.” Mycroft relayed to Anthea who nodded and typed away into her blackberry.

“Do you think this is linked to Moran and his network?” Anthea asked “or another one of our dealings?”

“I don’t know.” Mycroft replied

“Probably does” Greg said from the doorway

“Gregory what are you doing here I thought I said.” Mycroft started as he turned to see his fiancé.

“I knew I wasn’t going to sleep, I knew that. So I went back to the study. I started looking though more of the files the task force put together. I find one with your name on it. First paper I find is an order to destroy records, you signed 20 years ago. The records in question were a birth certificate and an adoption form.” Greg said trying to hold back his anger.

“Gregory please this is not the place” Mycroft tried to calm him.

“I am sick of your lies and hiding things from me Mycroft. I have been 100% honest with you about everything and now I find that you have a sister who was signed into adoption after an accident. That you tried to erase all traces of her from the Holmes line, you were denied the authorization of course. But now, You look after her. This is her place. Dora Wilhelmina Anne Holmes became Wilhelmina Anne Masterson on February 19th 1985. In 1995 you tried to have those records destroyed why? Why would your family give up a child? Does Sherlock know?”  Greg asked tears of anger streaming down his face.

“I can explain everything Greg, but not here.” Mycroft said approaching Greg.

“You know what. I don’t want to hear it.” Greg said shoving the file at Mycroft. “You don’t keep information like this from you future husband.”

“Greg I...” Mycroft started as he handed the file to Anthea and went to hold Greg’s hand.

“I’m going home. I’m packing a bag and I’m going to my cousin’s in Sunderland. I just can’t even be around you right now Mycroft” Greg said turning and heading out onto the street.

“Greg Please” Mycroft said trying to follow, but by the time he reached the street Greg was in his car and heading down the street. Mycroft reentered the flat and glared at Anthea. “How did this file get into the task forces hands? This is high level security, this has everything in it and thank god Greg only read the first few pages.”

“I will look into it sir.” Anthea replied. “Perhaps when he has calmed, give him a few days, you should tell him everything, that isn’t classified that is.”

Mycroft gave Anthea a look that could kill an army before storming out

“And get me that camera footage form the CCTVs” He hollered as he exited anger radiating though the walls.

Anthea sighed as she went to work. Hopefully this could all be fixed.

Chapter Text

Sherlock gently poured the water over John’s head rinsing the suds from his hair. John had been released from the hospital in the morning. He was quiet and still so weak. He trembled when he stood and would lean on Sherlock for support while walking. Sherlock had drawn a bath for John and now sat behind him in the tub gently washing his hair.

John had been hesitant at first he hadn’t been fully naked in front of Sherlock before, yes they shared a bed but John was always in his pyjamas. But Sherlock was gentle, this was about getting John clean and settled and ready for bed.

John closed his eyes and leaned against Sherlock’s chest. The warmth of the bath water and the softness of Sherlock’s chest made John feel secure.

Sherlock poured more water over John’s head riding his hair of the rest of the suds.

“That better not be my tea mug you are using.” John quietly said with a smile.

“Oh heaven’s no it’s the one I offer Mycroft when he’s over” Sherlock replied.

John smiled and leaned in closer to Sherlock.

Sherlock leaned down and gently kissed John where the doctor’s neck met his shoulder. John smiled and turned to face Sherlock, his lips meeting the detective’s cheek.

“I’m sorry John.” Sherlock whispered “This wasn’t my intent. I will stop if you wish.”

“No.” John replied “I want you to continue, I, I want this.”

John reached up and guided Sherlock’s lips to his. He pressed his lips against Sherlock as had as his body would allow him. Sherlock wrapped his arms around John and hugged him in tight, sliding his hand down John’s chest and in between his legs. John moaned at Sherlock’s gentle touch, it sent shivers through his body. Sherlock smiled and continued as John bit down gently onto Sherlock’s lip.

Sherlock wrapped his hand around John and started working his hand up and down

John gave another moan as he felt himself getting hard at Sherlock’s touch.

He wanted to kiss Sherlock harder and pull him in tight but he couldn't at this angle.

Sherlock ran his tongue along the length of johns neck and up behind his ear. He nipped at John’s ear before leaning the man back and kissing him.

John whimpered as he felt the blood rushing to his erection as Sherlock continued to with his stroking.

John felt his heart beating in his chest but he wasn’t alarmed. This wasn't worrying and he was elated.

Sherlock's grip tightened as he gave John one last final stroke sending John into a blissful orgasmic state.

"Thank you Sherlock" John said once his senses recovered. "That is exactly what I needed"

Sherlock smiled as he rinsed them both off.

"I was scared to take this step. I wasn't sure if either of us was ready" he said as he wrapped the towel around John

"It was the perfect start to a lifetime together" John smiled wrapping his own towel around Sherlock and snuggling in tight.

Chapter Text

Mycroft sat in front of the fire in the study. The brandy sniffer carefully cupped in his hand, the empty decanter sat on the side table in front of him. The last twirls of smoke floated off his cigar as the embers died. Mycroft had never gotten himself into a situation that he couldn’t talk and charm his way out of, until now.

It had been a week since Greg packed up and moved four hours north to Sunderland, he didn’t reply to texts and phone called went directly to voicemail.

He’d really messed it up this time, but the truth couldn’t be known, Sherlock could not know about Willa. If he did it would all unravel and he would start asking about Eurus and that was a path Mycroft did not want to go down.

Eurus must stay hidden, not only for the good of Sherlock but for the good of the world. They had tracked Willa down. A letter arrived at Mycroft’s office. She wanted to disappear, to start over.

Anthea had verified the ticket purchase to America and the small flat being rented by Willa in Seattle.

The people Mycroft spoke to were calling it a professional break down. Willa had caved under all the pressure she was under from her career and her personal life. It was not unheard of in musicians but rare in someone still as young as Willa.

Willa had seen psychologist since she was a teen. To Willa she had lost her birth family young then her adoptive mother at 14. It was hard on her. Mycroft had wished that he could have told her the truth but Uncle Rudy said no, said it was dangerous. That even though it was a mistake to hide her, what was done was done and revealing her would do more harm than good.

Mycroft sighed, he knew Uncle Rudy could be odd at times and he certainly wasn’t always right. Mycroft didn’t regret too many decisions he made in the past but this certainly was one. Really though what could he have done back then. He was 23 at the time and just starting out in his career. He wouldn’t dare speak out, not like he did now. He didn’t challenge much in the start, not wanting to upset those in charge. Instead he chose to brownnose, to suck up, and gain the favor of those who could further his career. There causes became his causes, and soon after he was out doing missions, bringing down those who posed a threat to the natural order and the security of England, a rescue in Moscow, an assassination in The United Arab Emirates, or a simple information exchange in Peru.

The job took Mycroft all over the world, and by proxy away from his family. Sherlock’s struggle with drugs got worse as his boyfriend used him. Mycroft was in Ghent, Belgium when he got the call that Sherlock was in the hospital.

Mycroft rushed to his side. He sat by him, cared for him, and then got him into an addictions program. By the fourth time Greg called Mycroft didn’t rush. It was cold really. He thought Sherlock was doing it for attention, that this was his way of being the center of attention. How very wrong he was, and it almost cost him his brother’s life.

Now Mycroft wondered what life would have been like if he had defied Uncle Rudy, if Willa had been welcomed back into the Holmes home. Would Sherlock have gone down that dark path? Would they have still become entangled in that deadly game with Moriarty?

There were many thoughts like that circling in Mycroft’s mind. Buzzing about like a nagging cloud of gnats. He couldn’t focus. He closed his eyes as the world about his swayed. Perhaps it was the drink, maybe the lack of sleep, or the fact he hadn’t eaten, but when Mycroft went to stand his body gave out and he fell back against the chair and sunk to the floor, the sobs shaking his body and echoing though the empty house.

 

=-=-=-=-=

The House at the corner of Queen Alexandra Road and Ashbrooke Range Sunderland UK was beautiful, fair sized garden and an orangey. Greg had only been up to his Cousin Albert’s house a few times. Last was seven years ago when his nephew Andrew was born.

Greg kicked the football over to Andrew who rolled it up his leg and bounced it off his knee to his head and into the net behind Greg.

“Now I can see why you weren’t a keeper” Andrew laughed as. Greg retrieved the ball from the net.

“Yeah when I first tried out my Mum wanted me to be one, figured it was safer, but I excelled at being an attacking midfielder” Greg smiled as he started bouncing the ball off his knees and chest, like he was juggling it.

Andrew giggled and tried to copy Greg.

“See you’re getting quite good” Greg smiled

“Thank you” Andrew smiled.

“Should you be doing that much activity?” Albert said exiting the house with a tray of drinks he carried over to the small garden set.

“Yeah, it’s actually good exercise” Greg smiled.

His smiled fell as another man exited the house.

“What is he doing here?” Greg asked dropping the ball and turning to pack away the net.

“Mycroft came to talk.” Albert said as he motioned for Mycroft to sit in one of the garden chairs “It’s been a week, and I know the fight was a bout a lie and Mycroft said he wants to come clean. Give him the chance to make things right.”

Greg just hung his head and kicked a patch of dirt in the grass.

“What was the advice when Connie and I hit the rough patch?” Albert asked

“Don’t let go of a good thing.” Greg quietly answered.

“Exactly Mycroft is the best thing that has happened to you since Margret showed her true colours.” Albert said motioning for Andrew to go inside “Connie, Andrew and Myself are going to go for a walk up to the park for a bit”

Greg nodded as Albert left him alone in the Garden with Mycroft.

“Hello Greg” Mycroft said as Greg put away the football equipment.

“Hi” Greg replied as he shut the shed door.

“Please sit with me” Mycroft said gesturing to the other chair “please let us talk”

Greg sat.

“Do you know why I am angry at you?” Greg asked as Mycroft poured some of the lemonade into the glasses on the tray.

“You are mad because I lied to you.” Mycroft replied

“It’s not just that Myc. It’s you keeping me at an arm’s length, hiding stuff from me. You hide so much and frankly it brings back a lot of memories of my marriage to Margaret.” Greg said tears building in his eyes “All the lies. The late night meet ups the trips with the other men.”

“I will not cheat on you Greg” Mycroft spoke up.

“It’s not that Myc. And lying about working with the taskforce, lying about who Willa really is, these were not the first lie you have told me. You lied about Sherlock’s death, you lied about why you pushed me away with the whole Magnusson thing. And it really makes me wonder how much you keep from me. I know you can’t tell me everything about your job and that’s fine. I didn’t fall in love with your job I fell in love with you.” Greg paused and took a sip of the lemonade.

“I want to keep you safe” Mycroft said

“You can’t Myc look at four months ago. And I know your life is dangerous and I am fine with that. It’s like john choosing Sherlock. We are willing to live with the danger to be with the man we love.” Greg replied sitting up and leaning on the table. “So tell me now. Who is Willa and why was she cut out of the Holmes family portrait.”

Mycroft sighed, He couldn’t tell Greg the full truth he couldn’t know about Eurus, no one could she was better locked away forgotten by the world in Sherrinford.

Mycroft took a log drink of the lemonade. It was then he noticed why Albert was told not to let Andrew have any. The gin gave the lemonade a nice bite.

Mycroft set down the glass and folded his hands on his lap. He proceeded to tell Greg the same story Sherlock remembered about the family dog accidently pushing Willa down the stairs. About her coma and Sherlock’s traumatized mind rewriting his memories.

“The doctors said Willa would never wake up. So we went along with Sherlock’s rewritten memories. Mum and Dad would visit her while we were in school.” Mycroft said looking down at his hands. “Then she woke. Against all odds she woke up, just before her 4th birthday. Our Uncle Rudy, a brilliant but odd fellow, decided that for Sherlock’s mental stability that Willa could not return to the family. So he told us she was killed in a fire. I did not find out the truth till I was 19 and went to work for Uncle Rudy. Willa was 10 and was in a loving home with Uncle Rudy’s secretary as her mother. She believed that her birth family was killed in an accident. I didn’t even have to hide my name. Sherlock’s she call Sher, I was always Cake. Sherlock taught her that. He was always a brat.”

“But if she was 9 when you found out Sherlock would have been 11 surely old enough to be told and to deal with the fall out.” Greg asked. He was slightly in shock about the whole thing.

“Sherlock’s mental state had been delicate since the accidental death of Willa. Mum and Dad do not know the truth either. Looking back do I regret it? Yes. Do I wish I could change the past? Yes. Can I do that now? No.” Mycroft said picking up the glass again.

“Why?” Greg asked

“Willa is gone. She’s moved to America and has severed all ties with Ashton and I. The specialist I talked to said she had a professional break down caused by stress. That we are to leave it and she will reach out when ready.” Mycroft replied finishing his drink and pouring another.

“And when she reaches out again, will you then tell Sherlock?” Greg asked leaning forward.

“Yes” Mycroft replied.

“There’s still something more.” Greg said taking Mycroft’s hand.

“There is one more thing, and I really wish I could tell you but I can’t. years ago maybe but now it has become a matter of the government. But I can reassure you that it is contained and that nothing will come from it” Mycroft replied taking Greg’s hand in his.

“What like a stalker or an assassin that came after you?” Greg said with a crooked smile and a small laugh.

“No not quite as spectacular or glamour and movie worthy as that” Mycroft allowed himself a small smile. “It is smoothing dangerous but I assure you it is well contained far away from us.”

“Now” Greg said moving closer to Mycroft. “Doesn’t that feel better to get that all out in the open?”

Mycroft smiled it did, the truth about Eurus still had a heavy weight on him but being honest with Greg was good. It made him feel safe. Knowing Greg would share in everything with him.

“So we are done with secrets minus the classified government ones right?” Greg asked

“Right” Mycroft replied pulling Greg close. “My problems are your problems.”

“We going to put that in our wedding vows?” Greg asked leaning in towards Mycroft.

“I think it would get a chuckle.” Mycroft replied just before Greg firmly planted his lips on Mycroft’s and pulled the man closer. Mycroft moved his had up behind Greg’s head and held him close. “I did drive out here myself so when your cousin and family return we could head home.”

“We may have to stay for dinner but I could pack now” Greg smiled as he kissed Mycroft again.

“You have a room to yourself?” Mycroft asked

“It even has a lock” Greg said pulling Mycroft to his feet “We’ll have to be quick I think they were only giving us an hour.”

“Oh I can get you going quick” Mycroft replied as the two made their way inside and upstairs.

=-=-=-=-=

 

Eurus sat in her cell, she watched as the doors leading in opened. She gave a small smile as he neared the glass wall of the cell.

“Hello Brother” Eurus said as she gently braided her hair.

“Hello. You wanted to see me?” Mycroft said standing at the glass.

“Did you tell him about me?” Eurus asked.

“Tell who?” Mycroft asked

“Your fiancé.” She replied “I am allowed a newspaper now and again. And what do I see listed in one this week. I saw an engagement announcement placed by Mummy and Daddy Holmes congratulating their son Christopher Mycroft Emil Holmes on his engagement to Gregory Alexander Lestrade. So will you hyphenating or will it be Mycroft Lestrade, or Gregory Holmes. Detective Chief Inspector Holmes. Hearing that some officers will cower thinking it’s our dear Sherlock. How is our little brother?”

“He is well” Mycroft replied stiffly, he did not like Eurus knowing that he was engaged. He had given Mummy and Daddy permission to post the announcement but never even thought about Eurus seeing it.

“And his little friend?” Eurus asked

“Dr. John Watson is well” Mycroft replied.

Eurus nodded

“And Wilhelmina how is our darling little Wilhelmina. A little bird told me she had a bit of a break down. Quite sad really, all that fame and responsibility and what does she do? She freezes.” Eurus smiled “I read about that in the paper to dear brother.”

“Is this why you called me here?” Mycroft asked “To gloat about knowing pubic information.”

“My birthday” Eurus gave an eldritch smile and standing, as she neared the glass Mycroft stepped back, she laughed “Still scared of me then.” She laughed again “My birthday is coming up and I have a request, a little present I want.”

“Well I’m running out of mastermind criminals for you to have conversations with.” Mycroft said not moving his eyes from her.

“I want pictures.” Eurus replied. “Pictures of my little niece.”

“I can’t do that.” Mycroft said taking another step back.

“Well then no pictures no more getting any help for anything from me.’ Eurus turned and headed back towards her bed. “How about one, a small picture, to keep on my wall.”

“One” Mycroft said taking out his wallet. He removed one of the many pictures of Rosie he had started carrying in it.

“Oh I don’t want one like that.” Eurus said removing something from under her bed. “I want one of her wearing this” She said producing a small knitted dress. “I asked for a knitting book and yarn, and I made this in an hour. A gift for dear little Rosie”

“What did you do to it?” Mycroft asked

“Nothing you can test it if you want before you give it to her. I just want to know that you will keep having to lie to everyone about me. Your dirty little secret.” Eurus gave a laugh as she put it in the chamber and rotated it towards Mycroft. “My birthday wish is that I get to keep giving you gifts for Rosie, I get to torment you by making you lie to those you love. You thought you could keep me hidden Mycroft. You can’t. I will always be there at the back of your mind in the shadow of your heart. The one you couldn’t save. The one you keep hidden, the one you use.”

Mycroft frowned as he took the dress and headed out.

“Do give my love to Gregory” Eurus called after him as the doors closed.

Eurus headed back to her bed and sat cross legged watching the monitor.

Mycroft didn’t even bother to notice it had been installed. It was nice little view for her of everything that was going on in the fortress known as Sherrinford. Mycroft boarded the helicopter and headed back to London. Eurus wondered what story Mycroft would give Greg about this one. Mycroft had grown up keeping secrets from everyone that it got to a point that he couldn’t tell truths to others. He didn’t know how. Grow up a liar remain a liar. Once you started hiding the demons the more dangerous they become.

Eurus picked up her violin and started to play.

Soon, so very soon she would put her plan into motion, and the battle for Sherrinford would begin.