*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: Hello! Hello!
Months have passed since the last one :D I'm passing by as well xD
As ever, in love with the Holmes brothers! This won't take many chapters!
Mycroft is in all sorts of trouble xD
Thanks for reading :)
His room was dark with only his silhouette seen flat on the bed and on his stomach, his curly hair buried deep on his pillow with eyes tightly shut with the slight movement of his chest as he breathed evenly. His blanket was left unused at the end of this feet for he didn't feel like using it. Such was his position till the break of dawn.
But his even breathing made a full stop as something occurred to him out in the dark. Much more than his keen awareness of his surrounding, it was his nose that forewarned him. Sherlock realized it even before his eyes could flutter open from his slumber: someone uninvited was in the house. His eyes opened then, alert and angry—alert because it was natural for his instinct to make him jump out of bed in speed of light and put on his robes at a short warning and angry because he knew exactly who it was that invaded his privacy.
He shot open his bedroom door, fully aware that it was only half past five in the morning, and the full blast of the aroma that awakened him tickled his nose. It was not gas or any poison at all but for the love of London, Sherlock would rather have any of those any day if it meant not having that person there on his living room now. He strode shortly on the corridor leading there in all intent with his arms swinging violently around him, and then stopping on his tracks as his eyes feasted on the small table in the middle of the room where a set of tea cups was already prepared and a man with thinning hair, properly fixed collar, tie, buttons, handkerchiefs and too shiny shoes that appeared to be out of place sat on his favorite chair.
Brother Mycroft was in the house.
Sherlock's expression automatically crunched up in a contemptuous look as his big brother eyed him with glinting eyes as he drank on his tea cup with a tiny little finger up.
"Tea?" he offered with smile not reaching his eyes but he seemed genuine enough. Genuinely polite.
"That's my tea set." Sherlock replied drily as he slumped on John's empty chair with the end of his robes whipping the air. He pointed at the set fully aware of its markings and trademark. Mycroft barely made an expression.
"I brought my own tea set. I hardly expect you to keep some proper ones. You'll have to catch me dead before I drink in any of your cups. God knows what organ has been swimming in it—"
"Meissen porcelain you know. One of the finest collection."
"Still mine." Sherlock raised both his legs on the armchair and gave his brother a penetrating look. "So why come bearing gifts?"
"I'm not giving you anything—" Mycroft began to protest.
Sherlock's eyes flickered from his brother down to the tea set in front of him and blasted away—
"Meissen porcelain one of your best collections out of all those rare and expensive ones—you are a collector, a collector of many classic things—but this is not the best. I know for a fact that you have Half Figure Service set—the most valuable out of all of Meissen porcelains and that you keep it at the best place of your home. Don't bother I know where it is." He rolled his eyes and went on, "To carry tea set in my home—not uncommon—but to bring it out early in this morning and to find you perfectly seated on my chair drinking one of the most awarded tea in the world? That could only mean trouble has befallen my dear brother so he comes sailing to my house, disturbing me with his oolong tea smell and practically invading my chair so there you have it the tea set is mine."
He eyed his brother once more. "So, what has gotten you fleeing the comfort of your home?"
Mycroft returned his gaze, before it fell on his detective brother's crossed legs on the armchair.
"Just—put your legs down, sit properly."
Sherlock smirked but did as he was told anyway to put his full attention on his brother— but then all of a sudden, the answer came to him even before his feet could touched the ground—
"Mummy." He breathed. "This is all about mother? You never leave your house unless someone who knows it is coming to barge in and since it isn't me then it could only be one other person in this planet—"
Mycroft gave in as a sign of putting his teacup down and looking at his brother seriously.
"I don't think it's actually that grave, but knowing mother—"
"What she's done? Opened your internet history?" Sherlock was grinning now as he relaxed and finally leaned on his chair; smiling suddenly at the possibility of his brother falling in the hands of their mother after a misdeed.
Just like the old times.
"I'm not the one she's always cross with, Sherlock." Mycroft answered as he read his brother's smile. "Well, maybe these days given what's happened to… Sherrinford." The British Government Head cleared his throat quickly with the detective not interrupting him, "It has been many months and now this."
Mycroft paused, then began with the usual raising of both his eyebrows up to show that it least concerned him but Sherlock knew better as he listened closely.
"Someone hacked into our system and sent a very confidential attachment to an address— it was the only one that was found successfully sent when the team retrieved the data from the laptop that was used. One email. This particular email was sent over to our mother'saddress by mistake which contains top security information that would be fatal if released to the public."
"What makes you think it's a mistake?"
Mycroft raised an eyebrow testily.
"Sent to our mother, of course it's mistake."
Sherlock frowned as he understood. "Nobody should know any details about her, you keep them secure…"
Mycroft pressed his lips together and gave a short nod.
"The fact that it was uncovered and sent to a civilian has the whole Secret Service stirring but the did has already been done. If it was any other civilian that received it, it will only be too easy for me to silence them but as it was our mother—
"You can't do a thing." Sherlock's eyes shone. "Brilliant."
"I was hoping to get your sympathy."
"Looking at the wrong place, you are." The detective clapped his hands. "So which confidential attachment was sent that made mummy come flying to merry old London?" Sherlock could already just picture out his mother receiving scandals of the Prime Minister or even the Royal family that was already making him grin from ear to ear when Mycroft pulled his full weight and said—
And at that exact moment, they heard a cab stopped right outside and Mrs. Hudson answering the door.
But all Sherlock could think at that time was—oh the domesticity of the situation.
Which part here should be exciting again?
Ten minutes later there was a sharp slapping sound that made Sherlock froze as he saw his brother's left cheek redden with their mother's hand still in the air.
-To be Continued-
a/n: If there is anyone to get any emotional response from Mycroft aside from Sherlock,
It's mummy Holmes! But Sherlock will always sort his big brother out ;)
Watch out for the next one^^
Angshupriyasaha wanted something like this^^ thanks for reminding me of mama Holmes in the picture :*
Thanks for reading!
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: That was awesome, all your response ;)
I didn't know many would still read knowing Sherlock's been out of the picture for months!
Really hoping for Season 5! I sorely miss the brothers!
Thanks for reading :)
Ten minutes earlier…
Sherlock's grin broadened as they heard the doorbell rang from downstairs. He and his older brother caught each other's' eyes—a somewhat nostalgic exchange that Sherlock surprisingly remembered for this was how they used to communicate back in the days they lived together in the ancestor house. When mutual understanding was deep between them for they were the Holmes brothers. Only they could guess what the other was thinking—or perhaps only Mycroft could tell. Then he remembered too how he would always let the older brother get the talking when they were caught. That was how things were from the beginning: brother Mycroft sorting everything even when he was not at fault—no that wasn't right. Mycroft was always at fault.
Funny how memories come to nag during unexpected situations.
"She's here." Mycroft sat up straight with eyes turning to the door. "If she read everything thoroughly—"
"You bet she did."
"I may need to find another bloodline to follow." They looked at each other again. "Soon."
Sherlock actually smirked, earning a disapproving glare from the former. "Don't start, Sherlock. You know what she's capable of."
"She's our mother." Sherlock retorted evenly, "She's capable of anything. Why did you have to bring the domestic in?"
"Between you and I that area is your expertise—why do you think I'm here?" panic was obvious in his brother's eyes, an apparent sign of their mother's influence. Sherlock almost pitied him.
"What did the files contain? You're not one to have a single file under your name—"
Sherlock nodded and patted the armchair as he stood up. "Right then I guess it's time for me to make an exit— this has nothing to do with me."
Mycroft gave him the most penetrating look. "Oh, I wouldn't assume that."
The younger Holmes frowned.
"Whose file do you think is always attached to mine?" Mycroft shrugged just as Sherlock made sounds of protest the door opened wide and Sherlock had no choice but to duck down in order to avoid his mother's eyes which were large and round and in search of that one son. Sherlock was glad he was not the receiving end of her wrath this time.
Stupid Mycroft and his files.
"Mycroft Sinclair Holmes!"
Sherlock glanced back at his brother in time to see him press both eyes closed as if the name hurt his ears. But that was how their mother was when she was very very cross. The detective didn't dare to look back as he stood by the kitchen table, pretending to fix himself a black coffee with his back to them.
Mycroft seemed to gather his composure as he eyed their mother with a silent look. Sherlock felt for him as he poured cold coffee from the pot to his cup while listening attentively in case his name was mentioned…
Mrs. Holmes walked in the middle of the room
"I knew you're here. The moment I called your house I was on my way here. You think I wouldn't know the two of you always working together? Sherlock, since when have you learned to cover for your brother?" her tone was calm but the brothers could feel the edge on her every word. "I should have known you'd be putting up after him."
"I was asleep." Sherlock answered with his back on her, rather irritably. "Why start with me?"
"And you." She turned to the older Holmes who was in his full attention with eyes only to her. "What else have you been keeping from me all these years? What was that file I read? I thought you were just a government employee?"
So much more. Sherlock smirked and took a sip on his coffee. Cold.
"Now, mother," Mycroft sounded as if he was sure of himself. He always was. "I can explain—"
"What can't you?" her voice was louder, full of disappointment, "Keeping your sister locked up, almost having your brother killed for those two years—you think I haven't read? What you've been doing to your siblings!?"
Sherlock wasn't smiling this time and neither was Mycroft looking resolute. Mrs. Holmes was beside herself as she took steps towards her eldest, her eyes shining with mixture of anger and consternation.
"I could care less of what you are in this country—with your secret military connections or your adoration to the Prime Minister or the Queen—do what you will! But to your own family? How could you?"
"I thought you were the one who always knew what he was doing! Shame on you!"
Sherlock sucked in some air and wondered if John was planning to come any time soon. His best friend was good at this situation but he doubted even his best friend could get on the good side of their mother.
This was a real family affair.
"I did what I could." Mycroft began in the silence that fell. "It was the only way to protect them—"
"Protect them? How did you protect them? You locked them up, you give them missions to be useful to you! What else could be worst you had to keep everything a lie? To lie to me? What else are you keeping in that suit and tie? I don't remember raising you to be such a degradation! All your lies, Mycroft! All this time! And you don't even look like you regret anything—too proud! Who are you?"
"You don't understand."
"You say that to me again and I will slap you." She was very very calm.
"Enough." Mycroft stood up, his leg prodding on to the table that caused the Meissen teacups to quaver and spill. "How could you understand when you don't even know the capabilities of your own children?"
"You lied to me!"
"I wouldn't have lied if it was not necessary!"
Sherlock stood rigid and closed his eyes shut. Mycroft was in it this time. He turned around to find his older brother with his eyes sad, his features somber. This was not going to end good.
"Mycroft." The younger Holmes called quietly, his own eyes steeling as he put his cup down the table but nobody paid him any attention. Mycroft Sinclair was on fire too.
"My siblings and I, we're not your common children, you should have known that. And Eurus she was the most unique of all. You think you could have helped her? Sherlock was damaged because of her; you think he was the same?"
"But we're a family, Mycroft! Not your tools! It's not up to any government to decide whether my children were useful or not! This is our family!"
"And I am the government! You think I would have taken care of Eurus' affair if I thought for one second you could take care of her!?"
Sherlock stared frozen at the pair and then to his brother whose left cheek reddened at the sudden gesture. Both Holmes brothers were stunned but more so was Mrs. Holmes. Nonetheless, there was no appeasing her fury.
"How dare you speak to me like that!"
Sherlock saw his brother's hand shook as he closed them. Mycroft had recovered from the swing of his neck but his eyes—Sherlock saw—flashed anger he had never seen before but it disappeared as it came and was empty when he looked down at her.
"I did what I had to do. I'm sorry to disappoint you." He whispered quietly.
"You could have done better. I trusted you." Mrs. Holmes' eyes glinted after a beat. "Where did you get the idea you couldn't trust your own mother?"
"Then I trust, mother, that no word of my profile will be coming out to the public despite all that has been said and done." With an eyebrow up, he was cold this time, and composed. Many times Sherlock had seen him like this and it was those times that the younger Holmes scorned him the most.
Apparently, so does their mother.
"Get out. I don't want to see you. I don't even know you." She breathed as she looked away and Mycroft disappeared in seconds without another word, leaving Sherlock staring at the teacup set left untouched on his table.
It has been a good five days since then. No word was heard from Mycroft while their mother had already returned in their hometown. Sherlock was left home with no case at hand except one baby which was sitting still on the carpeted floor with her toys while John was typing on his blog. It was Sunday and Sherlock had gotten bored with his experiments at St. Bart's that he opted to stay home too.
Of course he told his best friend what happened.
"Sounds fun." The doctor commented quietly as the keyboard clacked on.
"What?" Sherlock frowned at his friend from the kitchen table.
"Having slap scenes and shouting scenes. Sounds like a real family to me. I thought you brothers were never prone to it."
"We weren't until you add our mother."
"Your brother's at fault, no doubt about it. He always is." John continued, "I mean, kidnapping me every other week, threatening people everywhere he goes and sleeping tight after his tea—Sherlock your brother is a megalomaniac."
"Never said he wasn't." Sherlock scratched his hair as sauntered into the living room carrying a cup of tea. He put it down the table and sat down with eyes on John. "Mycroft got slapped."
"Mrs. Hudson would have slapped him. It happens to family every now and then. Rebellious teenagers, stubborn eldest sons who wouldn't want to take over the farm, the likes."
"She's never slapped any of us before."
"It's good for personality-development. And face it, your brother does need a hand or two."
Sherlock kept quiet and looked at Rosamund knowing full well nobody will be allowed to ever lay a finger on her by his name. The baby sucked on her toy and threw it across the room.
"You're in shock." John offered after a second, making the detective look at him and blink.
"No, I'm not."
"Normally Mycroft getting slapped would mean Christmas for you."
Sherlock remembered the flame in his older brother's eyes and the way his hand shook.
"There's just something about this case…"
"If your mum hasn't slapped any of you then why are you both so afraid of her?"
"She's our mother. She used to scare us with Einstein's Logic. Who cares about a Norwegian living next to a blue house? Those sorts of things. Mycroft always gets them right in a blink, I always get second place. It means the green food you know."
John smirked and shook his head. "Sounds like a fun childhood."
"But she's never raised her hand." Sherlock went on absentmindedly as he took his cup with both hands and pressed it on his lips. "Not even her voice."
"Mycroft deserved it. If one thing's for certain he shouldn't have treated your mum that way. You should be angry he did."
"I've always been angry with him."
"Well deserved too."
"He's a peculiar brother, that's for sure. But he's always had his reasons."
The clacking stopped and John Watson made a point of turning a look at his flat mate.
"Are you siding with your brother?"
Sherlock drank the cup in one gulp without looking at his friend who smirked at him again and turned to his blog.
"You're always going to be your brother's man through and through. If I didn't know better, I'd say you're worried."
Sherlock dismissed him and stood up, Rosamund following him with her large eyes, the empty cup of tea swaying in his hand. The detective was frowning heavily as his mind raced back to what Mycroft told him before their mother came.
Whose file do you think was always attached to mine?
He wanted more spoilers on that but brother dear hasn't answered his calls.
John said he was worried but there was no reason for it; Mycroft could always look after himself. What he was most certainly worried was—
"Sherlock." John called again that put the detective out of his stupor. "Why's someone sending me an email attachment… of your profile?"
Sherlock Holmes snapped his head to look at his friend and in two strides he was behind the doctor.
John's screen was on his email inbox with a sent message:
From: C .uk
To: johnwatson .uk
Subject: See attached.
Sherlock frowned as he saw the attachment and saw his most confidential file flash in his face. His trip to Baghdad, to Germany, his two years' undercover assignment around Europe, to Siberia even the most recent travel to Morocco.
"What's the meaning of this?" John's frown was nothing to Sherlock whose face already lit up after a second contemplation and was already rummaging his pocket for his phone. "Sherlock this is a confidential file from MI6. It said so here—this is a property of the government!"
"Took you long enough." Sherlock breathed but not John but to his brother who had picked up the phone on the other end of the line. "Where are you? Oh, just answer. Meet me in an hour. Why?"
Sherlock's eyes darted to the sender of the email.
"Is there anything you can tell me about the mysterious consonant 'C'?"
He could hear his brother take in some air, followed by such a sigh and his older brother's grave tone.
"My thoughts precisely."
-To be Continued-
a/n: we're entering some deep waters here ^_^
Since when did we not, knowing its Mycroft and Sherlock again!?
I'm always excited to deliver stories ;) Thank you for bearing with me!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: On to the letters!
Thanks for reading :)
John looked outside the window of the moving car with his serious features reflected on the mirror. He was seated straight, sporting his favourite brown jacket, comfortable jeans and flat shoes. His brown eyes watched the blur views darting pass him, the familiar buildings and streets, the high billboards and even Big Ben, all passing in a blink with silhouettes of people moving in perfect synchrony with their busy lives. Blissfully so, ignorant of the upcoming storm that was brought upon by a mysterious "C" that still has John looking around his companions from time to time.
He was ignored.
The doctor cleared his throat. He caught them giving him looks but silence still prevailed inside the car and all John could do was curt his eyebrows and wait patiently for anyone to speak as he shifted his eyes back on the old London scene. It was the middle of the day but the atmosphere inside the car was quite dark. It did not help that there beside him was a brooding Sherlock in his dark coat and thick scarf with curved lips and staring intently at the man seated opposite them— unsurprisingly calm as ever was Mycroft.
It all began with that mysterious mail he received. Sherlock immediately was in contact with his brother and half an hour later Mycroft's sedan was found parked just outside 221B without preamble. It made their eyebrows rise up but when a grim looking Mycroft was there sliding the car window for you, there was no questioning what you were to do next.
But the silence had been deafening in the past fifteen minutes. John, who had been trying not to launch demands of explanation to a recently dismissed son of his mother, decided to let Sherlock do the talking. Twenty minutes later all that was ever there was Sherlock studying his brother. His eyes would glint every now and then but his expression was blank most of the time.
Then John figured Sherlock was in his mind palace. He stared at his friend. For twenty minutes? John shook his head.
"Seriously, we're all just going to sit here quietly going god knows where? Even a picnic at the morgue sounds interesting." it was almost an anticipated outburst and eyes were on him at once. To Mycroft he added, "It's either your MI6 purposely leaked information or I'm in serious shit."
A slight expression of annoyance at the curse appeared on the older Holmes' face and John was glad to see any effects on that unresponsive man. But it easily disappeared as it came—in a very Mycroft way.
"It's both, actually." The British government head admitted coolly, making the doctor make a face.
"So I am in serious shit?"
"Not more than usual."
"Not more than usual is you taking me alone—"
"I didn't think you quite enjoyed it."
"How deep in trouble are you?" Sherlock cut off before John could retort back— to which the older brother amicably replied—
"Not deep enough for you to get involved. It's a simple matter." Mycroft plastered a smile that barely reached his eyes. "I'm just sending you on your way to make sure I can have… focus before I take any further steps."
"And that focus is… our guest house?" Sherlock turned slightly on the window. "We've passed the Constitution Hill going to Wellington. I'm expecting a turn to Knightsbridge within the hour." He eyed his brother again. "What's got you running?"
"I don't run."
"You wouldn't even if you could." Sherlock smirked. "Which can be said about me as well so you know this idle chat and travel only makes the grass grow, twirl, and snake upon your feet." He clapped his hands quietly with a manic glint in his eyes. "So details, brother. Who's after us?"
The annoyed look returned on Mycroft's face. "Stop being so pompous, brothermine. It will not save you."
"It might you." Sherlock turned serious.
John listened to the silence that fell after that with eyes darting from one brother to the other, knowing full well that he was missing some basic facts because well—this was Sherlock and Mycroft talking. They could talk about random things without as much as mentioning the context and still understand each other.
"Why is he in danger?" the doctor couldn't help however as Sherlock's words sunk in, "Finally plotted against the monarch? Wanted to be the next Prime Minister?"
He earned a sharp look for that but John didn't care.
"I want to know what's going on?"
"Explain it to him." Sherlock said at last, "You're already putting him under arrest so he ought to know."
The doctor blinked at the detective and had to put his foot down at the quick pace of the situation.
Mycroft threw his brother a nasty look before turning to the bewildered doctor.
"I'm sorry Doctor Watson but as you were the person who received the attachment from MI6, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you in custody."
"What?" John began hotly, his ears reddening, "You're the people who sent that message to me—why am I being arrested?"
"Simply because you received it. The IP address is with the Secret Service as we speak."
"And that's my fault how?"
"The same reason he is in trouble." Sherlock answered him with one glance. "With his own government."
"Oh stop it with all the hints, Sherlock, it's not funny! And it's not clever so either any of you explain the shit I'm in or I'm jumping down this car! And that's after I sock one of you!" John exclaimed heatedly that made Sherlock glance in his direction looking warily at his fist. Mycroft looked less impress at the threat.
"You don't know what we're talking about?" the older Holmes asked curio sly. "You don't know what the 'C' stands for?"
"Should I?" the doctor asked through gritted teeth.
"Mysterious 'C', John, thought everybody knew?" Sherlock said after a beat. "It was only just few years since they made it public in 1994."
"2010." Mycroft supplied quietly. "Most recent acknowledgement. It was a painful year but we needed the visibility as the mass demanded it."
"Oh, for godsake you two!" John had had it.
"Mysterious signature C in green ink, John," Sherlock sounded much annoyed too, "The Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. MI6. Would it kill you to use the internet once in a while?"
John automatically turned to Mycroft who raised both eyebrows and went on, "The Chief signs his letters and documents using tout court C. You've seen him on TV I'm sure. He's appeared so much on papers and Whitehall recently and is well known to the public. He even got his own Wikipedia."
"Oh, you'd know." Sherlock piped.
"I made it." Mycroft sounded proud. "Not too much, not too little information but just enough to satisfy the curiosity. My point being, only this man was named for public display but the operation of the Secret Service remained in the shadows. Other people involved in the MI6 remain unknown. Like me for instance."
John paused a while. "So this bloke leaked information and I'm the one getting arrested?"
"Of course when you received your email bearing MI6 strictement confidentiel, you must have already understood that some anomaly has happened."
"Yes, that anomaly is me being arrested!"
"No," said Sherlock, eyes transfixed to his brother, "That Chief— he's only the façade; feast your eyes on the real man on the shadow."
John didn't take his eyes off Mycroft. "I knew it. It was you."
"I merely hold the key to the files," the older Holmes' admitted. "What kind of fool do you think I am to send it to my dear mother and dear brother's best friend?" he raised an eyebrow just as John understood everything.
"Except sometimes when the plate gets full, it also gets turned."
John's eyes widened but it was Sherlock who voiced out what had been clear to the brothers since the car went off from 221B Baker Street.
"No one could be traced as a hacker in the system which means it was an inside job which means the only person who could be leaking this information is none other than its key holder." He watched his brother with great intensity. "You've become a person of interest for your own Secret Service and now you're on the run."
"I keep telling you I don't run. Just arranging things for smoother transaction. That's why I can't have you sniffing around, brothermine, I've got a job for you somewhere else."
"In the guest house?" the doctor asked uncertainly.
"You really think you can make me stay there when the fun's going on?" Sherlock asked testily.
"I'll make you." A flash of warning crossed Mycroft's smiling face but Sherlock was ever unfazed.
"Would really love to see you try."
"Sherlock, he's asking us to stay put because it's a government conflict." John turned to the consulting detective beside him whom at the moment was not being consulted, "You never liked government conflicts, you said so yourself."
"Then ask him this since we've tackled the Secret Intelligence Service's history: what happens to espionages who were ruled out to breached security clearances or proven to be traitors?"
The doctor gave Mycroft a quick look. The older Holmes gave them a very dark look.
"I can go through the alphabet if you like, brother dear, because mysterious 'C' is not even the beginning." Sherlock continued, louder this time, "You know about them John, you've read about them in the newspapers—the mysterious B— bodies! Unknown disappearances and deaths. We scan them on pages daily and even I couldn't tell you the reason sometimes. Because my brother has this mysterious A after them. Assassins! Erasing all tracks of their deed—rendering it too clean for the Yard's liking but I always knew it was them. Now I think my brother has his very own just behind him, if he's not careful. So we know the last letter that comes next."
Sherlock's eyes twinkled as John waited in anticipation. "Mysterious D."
"Death." John's own voice echoed in his mind, eyes transfixed at the man in the tie opposite them. "Oh my god."
"You're seconds from being murdered, are you?" the detective's tone was not light. "So much for this simple matter."
"You'd be surprised." Mycroft kept his composure much to John's chagrin despite all that had been revealed to him. Was Mycroft never afraid for what was coming for him? Or this was him being indifferent altogether? Whatever was on the older Holmes' mind, the doctor could never read him. He was just too Mycroft. "That side of the field is mine to play, brothermine. What I want you to help me out is a much trying side entirely."
A frown appeared on Sherlock's face.
An hour later, the car stopped in front of a tall house with a wide porch. John opened the car door as he stared at the building with furrowed eyebrows. The entire ride was full of Sherlock's brief snippets, apparently hoping to get more information while Mycroft dodged them smoothly that ended with them finally being silent after a last banter.
"And what is so trying about staying put in this place?" Sherlock said as he marched into the pavement leading to the door of the house with John right behind him. "A secret child I have to baby sit?"
"A child can't baby sit a child." John smirked and turned around as he felt no one following him. He found Mycroft standing just by the gate with a firm hold on his umbrella. "Problem, Mycroft?"
Sherlock turned too.
Mycroft looked pass them into the house with a new expression on his face that John wasn't accustomed to seeing. It was a grave look, full of vagueness and hesitation. Apprehension struck John for this was not the British Government he was used to see. The last time Mycroft was like this, they were stuck in an island with a younger sister pulling the strings.
It was Sherlock who broke the silence with narrowed eyes and solid tone.
"She's here, isn't she?"
"Who? Eurus?" John exclaimed as he snapped his head to the house's direction. The house looked innocent.
"Someone else." Mycroft sighed as he put a foot in front of him.
Five minutes later, John found himself seated on a comfortable chair inside the living room, adjacent to where Sherlock was sitting. The inside of the house was wide with high ceilings and white columns on each side. Flowery paintings occupied the walls and there was something ordinary with the placement of everything you'd hardly think people like Sherlock or Mycroft used to live in there.
And of course, Mrs. Holmes was there and she was livid after the simple explanation was done which to John was just the tip of the iceberg.
"What have I been telling you?" She said after a deep sigh as she threw a glare at her eldest who was just standing by the window with arms crossed. "Your very job can get this family in danger!"
"Mycroft," Mr. Holmes was there as well and he was her exact opposite as he addressed his eldest in the calmest demeanor, "How dangerous is this for you to even summon us here unexpectedly?". It was apparent that he too knew what was going on.
"This is just temporary, I assure you." Mycroft replied quietly with his eyes shifting to his mother every now and then, "I just need to clarify this misunderstanding and until such time I request that you all stay here—"
Mrs. Holmes gave him her sharpest gaze. "Is this what you tell people to make them believe you have everything under control? Is this what you have become— a manipulator?"
Mycroft didn't reply but his Adam's apple said otherwise. John pressed his lips closed and glanced briefly at Sherlock who was watching his brother. It was clear to John by how Sherlock looked that he was on his brother's side. Nothing surprising there.
"It was just a misunderstanding." The consulting detective sighed at last. "Nothing he can't undo. He's Mycroft."
"You be quiet, too, Sherlock. You've been with him for too long." Her mother snapped which made John even more uncertain if he should be allowed to be there. "I never should've left you in his care if I'd known he'd turn out this way."
Sherlock stared at his mother while Mycroft shook his head.
"No, you get out and fix this." She retorted with eyes flashing, Mr. Holmes looking down the floor, "Isn't it bad enough that you have our family involved without getting others in trouble too?" she looked at John. Then with heated eyes she pointed in his tie. "You fix this."
Mycroft heaved some air and then he was gone again.
John turned to Sherlock as the detective hinted to follow and shook his head.
"I got this. You stay and talk to her."
And the doctor was gone too.
Minutes later, there was a sound of car rushing and John returned without Mycroft behind him. Turning to his best friend, he shook his head again.
-To be Continued-
a/n: you know that feeling when you're just excited?
I get that feeling a lot xD sorry, rambling!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: Honesty in all things, that's Sherlock, isn't it?
Thanks for reading :)
Sherlock's dark eyes bore on Mycroft's back as he watched his brother walk out of the room. Next came John who hurried up to follow— Sherlock was meaning to do it, not intending to be alone with his parents—but John was kind enough to assure him he can handle Mycroft. Sherlock pursed his thin lips knowing that John was also probably feeling uncomfortable with the events that unfolded and happily left him there all on his own with a bristling mother.
Once upon a time, it would be to Sherlock's delight to see the back of his brother leave in much contempt, especially when he was being too authoritative inside Baker Street. Mycroft would occasionally come to 221B either to relieve himself of the stagnation of life and annoy his brother on ends or have an official work for him that cannot be covered by his secret service. On both times the older Holmes would always take it to himself to ruin the 221B residence's day unless Sherlock or John or with some pride—Mrs. Hudson—does something about it. With those two ganging up, Mycroft would always come out defeated. Sherlock would only be too happy to see him make such an exit and leave them at peace with a smug look of triumph and with an ill wish not to see him soon.
At this moment, however, such exit of the former left a bad taste in his mouth no matter how righteous his parents were feeling. Sherlock's eyes flickered back to his mother whose eyes remained bright as she turned to her husband with arms wrapped about her.
"How does he live with it?" she threw at him in vexation as she paced around the room, "For shame! A worst sort he turned out to be. What have I always said about liars in the family?"
"Let's not be hasty. His plate is already full." Mr. Holmes said quietly as he held both hands together and lean on both his knees, "I'm sure he'll come around with better explanation once everything is in his control so we stay put—"
"Haven't I made my point?" she stopped in front of him threateningly but Mr. Holmes only looked up at her with a tilt of his head. It was apparent they've been having conversation of the matter. "Your son is a mastermind! He has secrets that get people killed! He kept our daughter a secret for the better part of his life—who knows what he's done to others with no connection to him?! Should I feel grateful instead that he has taken care of Eurus when he left others to rot? If he could do so much to his own sibling— then what of other people!?"
"We've talked about Eurus with him. He was sorry—"
"A sorry doesn't cover everything else he's done." Her voice quivered as she crossed her arms protectively around her, her eyes glistening as she spoke, "Our son's hand is bathed in dirty blood—"
"No, he doesn't like blood."
Sherlock found himself saying from his chair that got the attention of his parents who looked equally surprised to find him still there. Just like them to forget everyone around. It reminded him of Mycroft's secret file dutifully entitled 'Parents and Shortcomings'. Not that he planned on mentioning it after all the fiasco. Nevertheless, with the attention all turned to himself he went on:
"He doesn't like anything to that extreme although his intimidations are always sound; Mycroft does not believe with excruciating work or anything to do with legwork. Thought you'd know given his size."
His sarcasm was not welcomed as his mother fixed him with one of her stares.
"Then you tell me, Sherlock… tell me your brother is innocent and I shall forget everything here and now."
That shut Sherlock up. His parents exchanged meaningful looks at the silence until Mr. Holmes stood up and lead his wife on an empty chair and handed her a forgotten cup of tea. She dismissed it. He offered it to Sherlock who took it, not wanting his father's own mood to wane. There was every trace of grief on both their faces that Sherlock was not used to see which made him wonder for a while. The hardened expression her mother was wearing when long ago he and Mycroft would only want nothing but to please her.
With Mycroft reaching just a bit higher.
At last, she buried her face on her hands.
"How did we end up like this? How could I ever trust him again—?"
"You shouldn't." Sherlock's voice was whole and grim as he met his parent's eyes. "A big fat liar like him whose always by himself with his lies and deceits must never be trusted. It would literally kill him to tell the truth so why would he bother? That's pretty much like Mycroft."
Mrs. Holmes frowned at him from where she sat. "What are you saying?" she asked reprovingly.
Sherlock made a face. "Oh, I don't know. He doesn't tell me many things, and many things he knows; he's afraid I'll compromise his work but he still has the gall to come to me and ask for help like I don't have any means to know things on my own. I mean, I'm Sherlock Holmes what couldn't I know?"
"It's right to be angry, Sherlock," Mrs. Holmes conceded—
"I'm not angry—"
"You don't have to cover for your brother after everything. I understand you two have always been close— (Sherlock nearly choked on his tea)— but he used you and your sister for his own convenience—"
"No, no—I'm too smart for that and he knows it. What more with Eurus." Sherlock shook his head, sitting straight for the first time, "No, see—this picture you built on your own has one flaw— I'm not the victim here— I'm also in it. Whatever I had become was never Mycroft's call. So if you're still looking for anyone innocent in this room I'm afraid you're in for another disappointment." the man nodded pointedly at them as an ever-ringing silence fell.
Just then John came back into the living room to find them all staring at each other, "He's gone."
Sherlock took his cue and with one last look at his parents, stood up and left through the door. John blinked after him and rolled his eyes as he made to follow.
"Sherlock!" he called sounding quite exasperated as the detective crossed the paved lawn, "Where are you going too?"
"To the fun."
"Wait up." John followed his steps. "You think you can help him? Mycroft? You think he's okay?"
"Depends on how quick he is with his 'smoothing' of things out. If he's anymore lucky he'll find is death right at his very doorstep."
"That's not funny. He could die."
"If he's stupid, he will. He isn't."
"Well, he just might, judging by how things had gone bad with your mom."
Sherlock whirled around as he reached the end of the steps of the road to face John with a crease on his brows.
"He might just what?"
"Mycroft—I meant he may not be thinking straight because of what your mom just said— he might do something reckless!"
Sherlock clicked his tongue. impatiently "If there's one thing Mycroft isn't, that's being sentimental or reckless, John—seriously have you met my brother?"
"Oh, stop with all the crap with the unfeeling and apathy—you saw how he looked. It was like he was hit in the face."
"I saw how he looked when he was hit in the face it doesn't look like that. And if you're a man who's in race with time and wasted some of it trying to calm a hysteric woman you'd probably looked like you want to get hit in the face too."
John stared blankly at his friend.
"Now, shut up and listen." Sherlock went on as he looked back at the house, looked around a little before turning his full attention to the doctor. "Give me your phone."
John's confused expression said it all but he was already rummaging his pockets for it. "Why?" he handed it to his friend who swiped it to unlock and began busying himself like it was his own. "What are you doing?"
"Locating my phone."
"You lost it?"
"Purposely installed it. Ah." His face lit up and John automatically understood as he saw a gps locator on the screen that showed a moving dot on the highway. John shook his head with a smile lingering on his face as he remembered that first case he and Sherlock ever did together. Who would ever forget her?
"Applying Jennifer Wilson's methods?"
"Told you before she's plenty smart. He's headed back to London." Sherlock shut the mobile and thrust it in his pocket, leaving John to close his expectant hand and shook his head a little. "Times like this you have to be vigilant with your own brother or he'll hog all the fun and the next thing you know he'll be doing his own investigations and crime solving so what would be left of poor me?"
"Should I answer?"
"No, you stay here."
"What? Why?" the doctor looked alarmed, seemingly at the prospect of being left with the unforgiving Holmes parents. Even Sherlock would have reacted the same. "I'm going with you and Mycroft!"
"So who'll babysit them?" Sherlock nodded at the house quietly. "If Mycroft's right—and I'm sure he is—they're already involved as it is. Same position with you anyway so better stick with the sinking ship." He looked his best friend in the eye. "They're usually harmless. The shock must've been appalling."
"Tell me about it," John sighed and nodded firmly. "Okay. But how am I to contact Greg in case we need him? You've got my phone."
"It'll be surprising if he isn't here already."
"How? He's division's not even here—"
Sherlock checked his clock and waved his friend away.
"I'll get in touch soon I'm sure the telephone's working in there somewhere. Take care, John."
But the detective had disappeared too.
Mycroft shut his briefcase and swiftly took it from his table inside a dark office and left without much sound. He was wearing his long black overcoat on his neat three-piece suit and with his other hand holding his umbrella he was already in full gear for battle. Or so he thought.
He was inside one of his unknown quarters exclusive for events the require utmost precaution. Nobody knows of this place, not even his brother. Having this place securely out of his knowledge was something that Mycroft takes pride in. To hide from Sherlock Holmes was one of the feat he, Mycroft Holmes, was known at.
At best here, his younger brother could not follow him. Not that his brother needed anymore persuasion since the arrival of John Watson had put a mark on the days Sherlock busied himself tailing him or trying to find out what he was up to. If your brother was Sherlock Holmes whose mind had decided you are the single most interesting being of all London because other people's business was too dull, then you're not much in for a treat—not much in for anything! Because Sherlock could stalk you for ends day.
Luckily, John was tolerable enough to have his younger brother and Mycroft was saved the trouble of always finding new places to find peace. Diogenes was compromised by Sherlock long ago. Then John had to add to the list.
There was no peace where those two were concerned.
The British Government Head silently passed the corridor of his head office, not minding the echo of his own steps, his eyes dark and daring. The hall was empty, not a shadow was there except his own but it was not something he found unusual. Be it with people or not the emptiness made no difference. Poetic as it sounded, even he could not feel himself. Numbness was nothing new to him either.
Mycroft pushed the back door of the building open and felt the brittle cold of the night wind touch his face. Knowing it was almost half past seven, he stopped right about the door, enough to inspect his surroundings before turning immediately left. He strode along the deserted alley with the lamp posts projecting his shadow, attentive to any sound of anyone following. There was none. Mycroft did not relax until he had a fair view of his black car from across the street. Looking left to right cautiously, he crossed the remaining ground and got inside the car's backseat with ease.
"Bishopsgate," he said quietly as he put his briefcase next to his right feet but then he had to glance up alertly when he noticed a silhouette sitting opposite him. For a second he thought it was an assailant—only to realize to his great astonishment—his younger brother, Sherlock Holmes comfortably seated just across him—
"What the devil—?"
"Language, Mycroft." Sherlock's eyes gleamed with mischief as the older Holmes stared at him in disbelief. "I've got my methods. You of all people should know." He smiled and quietly slipped his mobile phone inside his coat pocket.
The surprise on Mycroft's face quickly subsided to be replaced by complete annoyance apparent by how his mouth curved down and his eyes sharpened like an axe ready to behead an impish felon. It only made the grin on the detective's face broadened.
"And here I was thanking John for finally keeping the stalker that you are." Mycroft nodded at the driver and the car began to glide out on to the street. "Any ideas where I can drop you off?"
"Why always so excited to get rid of me? And why do you think I'd want to get off after finding out you of all people is going to Bishopsgate?" Sherlock challenged as he eased on the car seat knowing he was not going to be thrown out after all. The older Holmes suppressed a laugh with eyes transfixed at his younger brother.
"You don't know the pain of your company, brothermine. It's not always pleasure. There's only so much sufferance one can endure. For the life of me I don't know how John Watson puts up with it."
At the mention of the name, the consulting detective looked at his hand where another phone was held. The older Holmes followed where he was looking and figured whose mobile it was. He sighed next as he realized how his brother found his location and made a mental note always to have the inside of his car cleaned whenever Sherlock graced it with his presence.
"John's anxious about the situation." The younger Holmes began.
"Family affairs, his expertise. He actually thinks he's better at it so he plays the psychiatrist."
"Having more than three under his file in the span of half a year, I'll give him credit. What are you pointing at?"
Sherlock weighed his brother with a look and instantly Mycroft read where he was heading at. The inopportune situation involving their mother. The older Holmes narrowed his eyes in wonder.
"If you're thinking whether I needed consolation, my dear brother, you're wasting your time." He said plainly, making Sherlock turn to him solemnly. "Any other man would have been offended by what transpired, however, I am not like any other man. I don't get offended over a trifle. Had I been like that I would have sent almost all members of the Parliament where they rightfully belong—including the residence of your flat. No, Sherlock. I see no reason for you to wonder about how I'm feeling. Give my regards to John."
Sherlock nodded once and believed it to be true. Then added like it was an afterthought, "I just saw no reason for her to blame you for my cause… given you did kick me out of your house a decade back and left me nearly homeless- on Christmas Eve!"
Mycroft rolled his eyes at this ill-timed remark. "Your indiscretion for hygiene was and is very appalling. I consider myself lucky I survived the ordeal without any permanent disease."
"You burned my guest room!"
"It certainly took care of my Wilton carpet."
"Whoever advised you to leave an expensive Victorian carpet- in the guest room!"
"I blame myself for being careless." Mycroft closed his eyes as if the memory pained him greatly. Sherlock was chuckling to himself and when their eyes met, the older Holmes knew why his brother actually bothered to trace his whereabouts. And not just for fun. How much Sherlock has changed even when he doesn't admit it. "But go easy on our mother, Sherlock. Knowing you and your indecorous terminologies at times, she might as well really blame me for not teaching you well. And I am not at all innocent."
"Told her that too."
"Our parents are not blind to oversee my mistakes as easily as I do yours and you mine."
"As easily?" Sherlock frowned sharply at him but Mycroft had other things in his mind as he bent down and took the briefcase from the floor. The car had slowed down unto the street side. Sherlock's expression turned serious and his eyes gleamed inside the dark car. "You know your man, don't you?"
"Decidedly." Mycroft got off the car with Sherlock copying his movements. It was just about eight in the evening but the place was quite deserted. It was one of the perks of being outside at such an hour in the infamous street of Bishopsgate. At once, Sherlock's demeanor changed as he surveyed the surrounding with his critical eyes.
"I don't see your other men around."
"We don't need any other man for this job."
"What are you going to do—spring up behind your target and yell at him like mother?" Sherlock said with much disdain as he stood side by side with his brother. Mycroft paid him no heed and looked up at a seven-story building, his expression shrewd. The building was quite old, unpainted and some of the windows were already glassless and broken. Some has curtains but no light could be seen anywhere at all. But it did not look like an abandoned building. The curtains, ragged as they were, had some efforts.
"There is no need for violence, I think." He said after a second and stepping towards the building door, "I'm here to negotiate. See brother, I've found myself in a checkmate." He stopped in front of the door and sighed. "Right. Let's fix this."
Sherlock Holmes stared at the back of his brother incredulously and watched him knock on the door. Looking up at the building too, he could only imagine the horrors the lay behind its walls. Bishopsgate was not notorious for nothing with its nook filled with people Sherlock wouldn't consider as his brother's cup of teas. Not to mention the ever-growing labyrinth of alleys that lead to places only the kind of Sherlock was familiar of.
Yet here was Mycroft, unmindful it seemed and was going straight for its center. Does he even have a plan?
But then Sherlock's eyes were alerted by sudden movements on the third floor where he unmistakably saw not one or two shadows lurking about, waiting. Gritting his teeth, the detective shook his head and squared his jaw as he followed his brother to his doom.
Not sentimental or reckless indeed.
-To be Continued-
a/n: What is your cup of tea?
Thanks for reading! ^_^
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: An early treat ;) It was just brilliant xD
Holmes brother brilliant! Too short though O.O
Thanks for reading :)
"Why are you letting me tag along?" said Sherlock abruptly and quite suspiciously at his older brother as they stood waiting by the doorway. It was not like Mycroft to be persuaded easily just because he happened to be on the scene so nine out of ten the consulting detective knew there was a catch. There's always a catch.
"Isn't this what you wanted?" Mycroft didn't even look his way, "The mystery, the running, abandoned buildings and a brilliant mastermind?" only at that did Mycroft raise an eyebrow at him smugly. "Anyway, I did not force you to come. If you prefer a misadventure with your best friend, you can always turn around and hail a cab. For all you know this might only be a casual meeting."
"That's dull." Sherlock murmured quietly. "But not on Bishopsgate. You really are full of yourself."
"Trespass it is." Mycroft sighed next and turned the knob of the house which, suspiciously, was not locked.
"Surely you brought a torchlight?" Sherlock grumbled as they stepped inside the gloom with the door shutting close behind them; it left them in total darkness amidst the cool and somewhat murky surrounding.
"What for, we're not explorers." Mycroft moved about with a sudden light coming from his right hand the detective recognize to be a mobile LED light. He turned to the right side of the door, onto the dilapidated wall and with one reach of his free hand, switched on the hall lights—a fluorescent covered in cobwebs—that momentarily blinded Sherlock. When he was able to use them a second next, something which he had already expected greeted his view.
The derelict building was in the heights of falling apart. Windows that were able to salvage pieces of its glasses were covered in thick dust; poor examples of clothing hung about it like eerie ghosts while some had wooden planks crossed in order to discourage additional unwanted tenants. The ground floor was small, barely the size of his own flat's living room at Baker Street with its marble floor broken with pieces missing in places. Plenty of papers, boxes and clothes were scattered around too, some laid with dust atop it while others appeared to have been recently dropped. There were two entry way on their left side that lead to the stairs and another room while another one was in their immediate front which was likely to lead to other adjoining rooms the light did not reach. Some tapestry was strewn on what used to be a couch in front of them and as Sherlock observed, knew that not only humans benefitted on its remaining parts.
Most importantly to the detective, however, was accumulation of dust on the floor. Narrowing his eyes, he knew recent footprints when he sees them and knew his older brother had noticed too. In fact, he would be surprised if Mycroft cannot tell him the exact number of people that were there at the moment. Mycroft had always been his better when it came to the power of deduction and was only at fault for being too lazy to move.
Now that he was here, he might as well use it to practice.
"Four?" the detective suggested casually with eyes extending to the darkest part of the hall. "Two men on the left—one tall and another bulky with gigantic steps that could cover the distance in two sweeps. The other a lanky man standing at the adjacent room with long trousers it took most of the dust with it. And another big man of sixth feet with a bad leg judging the way he carried himself hiding under the stairs."
"Sixth." Mycroft responded as they stood shoulder to shoulder, "A smaller pair that came from the underground stairs over there—"
"A boy of seven—" Sherlock interrupted as he saw what he missed—
"A fully-grown man. Dwarfism." Mycroft observed with critical eyes towards his younger brother. "Irregularities on the feet that cannot bear its size. His knees wobble at the deficiency so the footsteps are not fully planted on the dust. The box under the window suggested it's his terrain as a lookout and now hides as he means to keep away in case tension arise. They've been here long. They know the place's every nook and cranny even in the dark."
Sherlock did not question that and was looking at the dusted floor.
"Okay, that makes all five. Where is your sixth man?"
"Where else?" Mycroft lifted his eyes to the dark ceiling as if his grey eyes could penetrate through the above rooms. Sherlock shook his head and glanced at his brother.
"Of course. You knew of the building's outline—blueprint before coming here. That's why you know the lights— turning them attracts attention. You want attention."
"Let's say I am expected." The older Holmes briefly glanced at the ceiling again. Now that he listened to it, Sherlock with his attentive ears could hear a faint creaking on the floor above. Mycroft turned to him assuring. "These men will not step out to inconvenience us unless you do some extreme measures so I beg you, Sherlock, for the first time in your life do restrain yourself. The building is collapsing as it is without your help."
With that, he took careful steps towards the stairs while Sherlock scowled after him.
"A point." The detective said as they made it to the foot of the stairs and no henchmen leapt to stop them. Whatever he was about to say was forgotten when Mycroft crinkled his nose because the wooden steps were as precarious as a walk to an ice lake with half debris covering it. The Holmes brothers contemplated a little, before Sherlock decided to give his older brother a shove on the shoulder.
"You can see the safest route with minimal light."
"I can. Doesn't make it any easier." Mycroft sighed and decided to ascend with his younger brother bringing up the rear. "You were saying about a point?"
Sherlock took his time for Mycroft's progress was as slow as a koala. Then again, his older sibling had always been clumsy as a kid with no real control of his limbs. Where there is space Mycroft would always knock things down and would be a danger to himself. In his defense, he stated he has no real stamina for physical activities for too much activity reduces critical thinking. Sherlock was a danger to himself too, except that it was all due to his excess energy and vitality.
Being a danger to themselves hadn't change one bit from then till now, it seemed.
"Just one," Sherlock's mind had been racing ever since they came in the building, "there's more about your hacker than you care to admit. If this had been any individual your own people have identified you would have sent them here instead of trudging this place on your own. You're still the Head or you wouldn't use that private car. I don't think half of them believes it's you to begin with."
"Half?" Mycroft raised an eyebrow as they reached the middle of the stairs. The silence bothered Sherlock a little and he made a point to look below the stairs. "If you meant my two colleagues at the Cabinet then you are right."
"I was referring to you."
"Then you are right. But assassination is not under my command, MI6 controls intelligence, not brusque operations that involves casualties. Other people are better judge for that, or so they want to think." He paused as he found himself in another pile debris and unstable steps. Sherlock used his own mobile phone's torch to light the way. "Which makes the threat of assassination real only when actual confidential documents are released in public or shared to our enemies."
"Ergo," Sherlock insisted once they have safely reached the second landing and his brother had conveniently turned on the lights –obviously he had memorized the blueprint in a glance— and was already motioning for him to follow towards the end of the corridor. Surprisingly, the only door there had lights turned on as seen under the doorway and a sound or some sort could already be heard echoing there. "No important document has been released to public…yet. No reports from media or exposé of your identity except to our mother and John. Which means this isn't about the country or the monarch, no they are not the one getting threatened at all… which makes this…"
They reached the door and from in there they could hear a voice speaking—a very familiar voice of a woman. Sherlock's eyes widened as he recognized that dull, monotonous tone that intruded his nightmares for many weeks after an incident involving a widely secured fortress occurred. Her voice that kept her up for some nights.
He shot an alarmed look at his brother whose jaw was clenched and set.
"How?" he began but seeing his brother not moving, the detective initiated to open the door this time.
Light filled Sherlock's large eyes as he stared in disbelief at what he found inside.
"A much important personal visit." Mycroft finished for him grimly.
John tread carefully as he crossed the dining room into the living room carrying another pot of hot tea in a tray. It had been a good five hours since Sherlock made contact and the silence on his end was driving him on edge. Drive him on edge it did especially with his best friend's parents consulting him for their youngest's whereabouts every now and then.
He found the Holmeses in a heated discussion. At least, Mrs. Holmes was.
"You know your youngest would follow him on end. It's all a game for him and before you know it he's shot again or left to fall on buildings or get blown up in a pool!"
John cringed at all the details and saw at the farthest couch behind her. Yes, she did her readings. Was it possible that Mycroft didn't mention him at all? Or Mrs. Hudson will be receiving his own file next?
"Mycroft is sensible enough not to expose him, my dear." Mr. Holmes was ever patient, "You know he gets angry with his younger brother a lot because Sherlock has always been prone to accidents since a child. He cares for his brother deeply so I will not misjudge him not to continue his practice."
"You remember the file? He almost sent him to Middle East!"
"And in between Mycroft was always with his brother dutifully."
"With a wrong sense of judgment as to what older brothers are supposed to do!"
John nearly nodded but ended up pressing his lips. That had indeed bothered him many times. Of how Mycroft treated his brother for many years. It wasn't just what you call normal. He had content himself with the supposition that it was just the genius in the blood. Sherlock was a real peculiar one too what more the older brother?
"I should have had more talks with him. He's too independent, I often think he doesn't need us." She went on and the doctor made a point to look at the door, wondering if it was time for him to leave and not wanting to eavesdrop.
"He doesn't." Mr. Holmes was plenty of help. "He's too smart, we both know that. He didn't long for any affection since he could say his syllables." The man sighed. "Remember how scared we were…"
"On the contrary our Sherlock needed all the parental affection his older brother lacked. My sweet little boy. There could not be any different siblings like day and night."
"Yet Mycroft truly does care for him. He doesn't mean him any harm."
"How could he not care? Of all his misgivings and cold attitude and suspicion to the world that everyone works their way in connection because of mutual needs there comes his younger brother who gave him all his affections for free? Sherlock was always a sweet little boy and he looked up to his brother so much there's always a pedestal when he speaks about Mycroft when he was just five! Always looking for his older brother." Her own speech seemed to conciliate Mrs. Holmes greatly for she gave a long pause, eyes only to her husband, and then slowly, sank to one of the empty chairs near the fireside with a hand to her forehead.
"The more reason to believe they will be fine together." Mr. Holmes said gently.
It had been some time now since John realized that the Holmeses might have forgotten about him. He was sure they were not the kind of parents who would speak about their children with the presence of a stranger yet here they were, in their own world. Then he realized, this was their home. He was the one listening in. John watched her and knew he needed to make affirmation.
"He's always been there from the beginning." The doctor cleared his throat when he found them looking back at him in surprise and decided to make the most of it. "I don't think he's ever left Sherlock's side. Not from what I saw. And experienced." Now he refrained from mentioning the constant abductions, atm bank hacking and the likes. As far as he was concerned there were things that cannot be confessed about one's sons.
"See?" Mr. Holmes stood up from his chair and sat at the right armchair where his wife was seated and placed an arm around her shoulder. "Our son may seem indifferent, but he's always had his brother's best interest at heart."
"I don't know." Mrs. Holmes wrinkled her nose. "He's just keeping too much to be trusted. What he did to his sister… if he could be so cruel to Eurus, all those years in solitary confinement, meeting his sister, then meeting us as if nothing happened—no proper man can keep things like that! Only the most deceitful man could even face his own family afterwards…for almost twenty years… do you really think it normal for him to function as an older brother after what he's done? What else is he capable of?"
John was frowning heavily now.
Certainly, there were some aspects of Mycroft even he was loathed with. Some parts he was patient with and other just plain annoyed. But never for once did John think Mycroft to be the enemy. Sherlock did say he was his archenemy but in a sense of sibling rivalry.
John shook his head as he remembered Mycroft. Him the enemy? Of course not.
Sherlock stared in disbelief inside the room awash with lights coming from dozens of LCD screen piled together like boxes in the middle of the room the received him. And on the screen, projected like how she had been the last time was none other than their sister, Eurus Holmes.
Sherlock's lips parted at the impossibility and his eyes searched the dark room but there was nothing save the screens, her sister chanting something in the air and finally just in the middle of it all—just in front of the screens— was an empty chair and a table. Where was the sixth man?
On that particular table there was only one object of interest that made Sherlock Holmes' heart pound so loud he thought it would burst out of his chest—a tea set.
Not just any tea set but one of the finest Meissen porcelain—the Half Figure Service Set.
Numbness shook Sherlock as things began to untangle itself in his mind and in his confusion, he was unable to process everything at once. Only one person in all London could possibly own that tea set—
"What… what's the meaning of this?" he interjected with some force and sharply added as he whirled around to that other person— "Mycroft!"
Mycroft had moved in with ease while Sherlock was too dumbfounded to speak. The British Government Head quietly circled the table, placed his briefcase on it and took his throne quietly with Eurus' face grinning in the background.
The effect was instantaneous for the younger Holmes.
"I'm sorry, brother." Mycroft droned in with his grey eyes cold but it was nothing to the sudden ice that froze Sherlock to the core as he finally caught up with his mind—tea set, keyholder, C, hacker, the only person with access, Eurus, mastermind— Sherlock's never feared a deduction before.
-To be Continued-
a/n: I'm screaming. You're screaming!
Sherlock is screaming!
Had to update since I'll be out during the weekends! Hiking yay! I'm off to find new perspective! xD
Till the next chapter! Last two I believe!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: Late but Long! ^o^
I had three drafts... three friggn drafts for three days and this is the path I chose! xD
I deem it an excellent course! I hope you would too!
Thanks for reading :)
John placed the tea set on the sink and washed his hands on the running water. Five hours and Sherlock still was not in contact. And he had no phone. Wondering if he should borrow Mrs. Holmes' mobile and maybe use his daughter as an excuse, the doctor turned off the sink and was about to head back to the living room when something red and blinking caught the corner of his eyes. John turned to the source and found it was coming from the inside of a cabinet under the stove. Apprehension struck John for the regular blinking of red lights was not new to him.
Slowly and carefully, he knelt down and braved his hand in opening the tiny door.
What he found inside made him curse and with a shake of head, headed back to the living room where he hoped no red lights would be found.
How wrong he was.
The next text you are about to read narrates the downfall of one Mycroft Holmes.
164 hours ago…
Mycroft sat in discomfort on the chair but he did not let it show. He was too busy with the screen to even bother. The feeling of slight mortification has left him now after being escorted by his two men in the room filled with five men and a woman he knew too well. Thus, the unprecedented interrogation began.
Mycroft ran the back of his right finger delicately to his thin lips, his jaw set, his eyes severe and burdened by his heavy brows as his eyes reflected the light coming from the screen in front of him. He was sitting in a dark room, in the center of everyone else whose eyes he could feel boring upon him. He could feel their scrutiny, hear their whispers and see their silhouette shaking their heads. What brought him at the center of it all?
The monitor showed people's photos of men, woman, young adults alike, there must have been about seven photos that were showed, each individual with promising lives.
"You recognize them, Mr. Holmes?" began the man on Mycroft's right. The British Government Head recognize him to be the undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense code named Guardsman. It was not just him, every important personal under the MI6 with respected codename were there and if he was not sitting in the middle of them all, Mycroft would have taken the seat of the undersecretary.
Still ticked he was in the shadows of the plot, Mycroft's sharp eyes were on him like a hawk.
"Of course." He turned his eyes to the monitor. "George Colton, Amy Sessman, Alfredo Montoya, Friedrich and Hether Wallaby, Eric Thomas, Jane Krushnic… all listed under our Witness Protection Program on different years. I approved of the list myself."
"Have you any update of their whereabouts?"
"I can sketch you an exact map for each with their scheduled activities on different day of the week." Mycroft raised both eyebrows questioningly. "Should I begin?"
"Mr. Holmes," interrupted Lady Smallwood who was there and who also seemed less impressed, "We are in a situation."
Mycroft gave her a critical gaze. "That has become obvious to me the moment I was, under duress, taken from my office; only, I feel a sinister accusation coming my way having taken this seat. If any of you would start enlightening me than pitching unimaginative questions whether I know who or what when in fact I do then maybe progress can still happen."
"Mr. Holmes, these people under the Witness Protection Program are all dead." Guardsman offered without ado that caused the five of them to stiffen all together and for Mycroft to frown a little, obviously taken aback. "They were all murdered in the span of three days by different groups that had been hunting them all down. Alfredo Montoya showed signs of torture before his body was dumped on Thames."
Alfredo Montoya was a member of a deadly MAFIA organization that was overturned because of his betrayal. Mycroft might as well be slapped in the face. Alfredo was a great asset then and whom Mycroft had personally promised his safety. Now dead. Just like how he always perceived all other agents and spies to be in the end.
They get retired.
"Why was I not informed?" he said with some magnitude of authority.
"Because it would jeopardize the line of investigation." Came the dry reply. Mycroft's expression turned from slight indignation to apathy as the meaning of the words came clearer.
"And you invited me here because…?" there was no trace of concern for any answer, just plain affirmation of what he already knows. He saw them exchange looks, even saw Lady Smallwood shake her head as she glanced at the men around her, and Mycroft knew the inevitable for him was to come. The irony of something already happening out of his knowledge. Where other forces partially responsible for the silence? He looked Lady Smallwood straight in the eye.
"Sadly, Mr. Holmes, you are a main suspect with the disclosure of the information. It was you who had initiated the double security of all the names listen on the program and thus only you would have any hold on its release. That is why, no matter how inconceivable this committee thinks it is, the fact that the encrypted address was traced back to your office is our main concern. Experts of the MI6 traced all seven lines directly to your address alone. That is substantial enough to question you, so I expect no more remarks on your part as we proceed on."
There was no visible sign of expression on his face, except for the closing of his fists, the British Government Head sat still, and one would think he was indifferent to what the others were saying. For those aware of his capacity, Lady Smallwood for one, Mycroft had already gone deep within the covers of his mind. Whoever was behind this must have be aware of who he really is. Politician? Parliament? MOD? Groups he has pacified merely by sound threats? Foreigners? There were plenty of strings to follow for enemies too many to count.
If only he isn't going to be—
"We've decided to strip you of your privileges as the Parliament and consultant, Chief Cabinet of the Office and all other affiliation with the British Secret Service as the investigation progresses. You will be under strict monitoring for the time being until further notice. I don't think we need to remind you what it means to have limitations?"
"I wrote half of it myself." He reminded them. Then his eyes flashed, if somewhat, more spirited than he intended. "It does not limit me to go about London?"
"In respect to your former position, and to give you time to prepare your lawyer—"
"I have the degree. I can do on my own."
"Then until the final charges of the initial investigation, you are not under arrest yet."
"Then I request to keep my mode of transportation."
"Granted." Lady Smallwood said before anyone else could make any counter argument. At the silence that follow and the prying eyes she added, "Would you rather Mr. Holmes disappear without your knowledge from his lodgings and take the lory or the underground? Exposing himself to the general public is not commendable."
Mycroft met her eyes with an arch of an eyebrow.
"Very well." Said Guardsman. "Then that is all, Mr. Holmes."
Mycroft calmly took the verdict. There was no other way this meeting could have ended, he thought. Breach of security, information that caused casualties and the possible threat that it could happen again, this time on greater scale, even without his bidding the group was doing a fine job on their own.
Not that he doesn't see any reason why it shouldn't get solved once he sets his foot out of that door.
24 hours later, Mycroft found himself clandestine in his underground office with two of his best professional hackers out of MI6 and who also know of Sherlock Holmes personally, facing three computers in the middle of the small room.
"Mr. Holmes," called one of them as he pointed in the screen. "Your MI6 stopped the tracing when they found the direct source coming from your address. If they had gone any further and checked the stream underlying the encryption, they'll find this."
Mycroft leaned down, his face already set at what he was expected to find.
It all pointed to one direction—
Mycroft lost not beat at that and said almost in deadly whisper—"Erase it."
Sherlock absorbed everything as he calmed his demeanor and identified that which was trying hard to become obvious:
Mycroft was the enemy.
He couldn't help but feel a touch of the dramatic in there—the irony—for this was what he had been trying to tell John for a long time— if and when Mycroft realized his potential for the criminal world he would be the greatest, most unparalleled criminal of all time!
Sherlock slightly smiled at the notion and felt his blood run cold. Despite what others think, he was nothing compared to Mycroft. Sherlock would, with close eyes, admit defeat because he knew his older brother more than anyone. And if it was to be that Mycroft was really turning the tables on him then truly—God save the Queen!
However. The nagging voice of Mycroft himself inside Sherlock's mind palace dictated—
It is capital mistake to theorize before one has data.
Still, he could not help the slight excitement that escaped his body to the point of feeling the chills. Whatever possessed Mycroft to act as he did, the fact that he and Eurus were both on the same side was and truly—
"Brilliant." Sherlock whispered more to himself as he breathed in the scenario and felt his ground. Definitely an early Christmas treat. Only— his eyes darted here and there to Eurus on the screen—how his mind labeled her background from her hair as neat, groomed, in the present, live stream, then to her eyes active, deadly— scheming.
So, she's back on the prowl after months of being lost?
In a flash he was on Mycroft who was watching him with dark, brooding eyes. It occurred to Sherlock how very much like his siblings were at the moment. It disturbed him a little.
"An odd combination." He whispered after, watching their every expression, feeling apprehensive at what he will find. "You two always like isolating me in the game it's not even fair…"
"It was his idea, Sherlock." Came Eurus' spirited voice you'd think she'd never fallen into the point of no return. "I kept telling him to call you out but he's never granted me the favor even when he's the one asking for help. But that's just like our Mycroft, isn't it? Keep everything a secret to the grave. A very responsible brother."
"Hello, Eurus." Sherlock regarded his sister, "How are you?"
"Hello, Sherlock. I distinctly remember you said you'd take me home. But then again, just context." She did not blink at him and almost burned him with her gaze that made Sherlock stood his ground. Somehow, Eurus was really never able to reduce the strength of her eye contact. It was the first advised he had from Mycroft as a child for they were always prone to extensive watchfulness of people.
"Relax your eyes but never lessen the observation, Sherlock. People find it uncomfortable being stared at, they prefer a quick gaze which normally cannot tell them anything about the next person, but we're different. Get everything in one swift eyes movement, observe, use your mind, Sherlock…"
He turned to his brother slowly as he emerged from the voice in his head and found Mycroft staring at the teacup with much avidity than that of normal. "Care to explain?"
Mycroft didn't look up. "Uncle Rudi gave me this collection."
"I don't care—what's Eurus doing here?"
"She is here to help me." Mycroft said at last, his face suddenly shrouded in darkness as he was sitting behind the light of the television. "My request."
"Why do you think?" came the expected reply and Sherlock met his brother straight in the eyes— then pointedly raised it to their sisters who was apparently ogling at them with a grin.
"When did she return"
"To be exact, ten days ago." Mycroft offered the chair opposite him.
"And you didn't tell me?"
"Hence, the apology at the beginning."
"Apology accepted." Sherlock met his brother's eyes and was satisfied to see them flicker even for a moment. If there was any danger of Mycroft being under her influence, he'd know. Right now, and then, he knew this was Mycroft he was speaking to and what better way to humor his brother than to cut him some slack? "See there, truth to your words, we always forgive each other."
"It seems not to run in the family." Mycroft returned his gaze equally.
"Two's a company." Sherlock somewhat relaxed his grip and was finally able to look at Eurus clearly. So, there was no anarchy going on. The detective gritted his teeth as he sat and observed Mycroft with some scrutiny. There were more important details to be asked than bully him of the apparent secret he kept once again. Mycroft will be Mycroft.
"I cannot join that row." Eurus piped up from the numerous screen that got the brothers glancing at her. "You both know the science of forgiving is a compromise on both party. Forgiveness is a condition. The one forgiving occupies the higher moral ground in contrast with the one getting forgiven who will always feel indebted, Sherlock. But if you don't recognize fault you don't recognize forgiveness. Hence the logic of why bother."
Sherlock regarded her again with some thoughts, then asked, "Have you forgiven Mycroft?"
"I already said if there is no fault, there is no forgiveness. You understand why he had to do it, I understand more than you care to admit, Sherlock. Mycroft did what he thought could stop me, otherwise there is no peace out there in your world. Just like the perfect brother. I suppose you don't remember, Sherlock but he's always been like that since we were children. Always feeling the need to handle everything. I wondered if you remember who took care of you when you were helplessly crying and crying while mummy was busy with me?"
Sherlock in a picture, as though glimpsing from someone else's memory, a boy of great size entered a room so familiar—his room—with a soothing voice as he cried and cried endlessly after the loss of Victor. The detective blinked once and looked around at his sister.
"Still in fragments, poor you." She cooed, "What more when they took me away and pretended I died. Our parents must've been so devastated, and you forgot me but they couldn't so pattern wise our parents must've been in their own world, lost in agony. Who else was there to look after all of you? Who else but the always handling everything, Mycroft."
"You make it sound like it's a bad thing." Mycroft commented absently.
"I preferred you left them, I was half convinced you would. You were pretty smart, you could've worked on your own."
"Smart doesn't make one less responsible."
"Responsible is coated with philosophy of a fool—same as bravery, sacrifice and loyalty. Thought you'd know."
Sherlock let out a loud sigh as silence fell after the banter. What kind of life there would have been if the three of them lived in the same roof, Sherlock could only guess, but Mycroft being the responsible-to-a-fault brother was not something new to him. If there was something real that he could remember from early childhood at all, it was that brother Mycroft was always around. Even to a point of annoyance of secret cameras and secret cars.
"Enough, Eurus." Sherlock cut in as he gave Mycroft his full attention. There were plenty of things his brother needed to explain and second in the list— "Why do you need her help?" He could formulate different answers but the way he was having a hard time to concentrate because of the picture in his mind a while ago—Mycroft and Eurus together—it was better to have facts at hand.
"Because she is the core of the situation." Mycroft explained quietly, "The person responsible for everything happening at the moment, the MI6 fiasco, our parents, you and John. It's all her and she's only one purpose in mind. She is the hacker."
"Why doesn't that surprise me." Sherlock whispered, eyes lingering on his sister, questions after questions popping in his head—how did she have access to computer? Is Sherrinford under her influence again? Is there going to be a second round of bombs and deaths? He pierced Mycroft with a look.
"Sherrinford is safe." The older Holmes supplied as he understood his gaze. "I was able to minimize her control and changed the staff all together at the last minute before I am stripped the privileges to supervise the island—"
"Stripped?" Sherlock sharply repeated—
"This is merely a connection with no consequence," Mycroft ignored him, "Just a monitor to monitor where only we can communicate as we need to. I could not risk the connection knowing I am being watched. Everyone else in Sherrinford in red alert as she has now gained full access to her mind. Nobody should know I am in direct contact with her given my position."
"They've sacked you?" Sherlock understood finally and this, more than anything was incomprehensible. Not Eurus' return, not the desolated headquarters, not at all. There was no British government without Mycroft Holmes! The gall of the government to even hope of rising without his brother behind it! Sherlock's visage of calm turned to anger. "On what grounds do those idiots—?"
Then Sherlock stopped as the answer came to him naturally—that Eurus upon waking up set up Mycroft's name against his own men. That she must've done something even greater than just hacking files and threatening their exposure—she did expose something so grave it rendered the reluctant government to let go of the greatest asset they've had and will ever have. Something Mycroft neglected to mention. It was all becoming clear now—
The consulting detective raised his glinting eyes at his sister.
"You woke up from your slumber and what—the first thing you want to do is bring the nation down?"
"It is the nation that kept me from my freedom and potential, Sherlock, it is illogical that I don't take actions against it. Even Jim Moriarty understood my not so complex existence." Eurus spoke in a matter of fact tone, "Only Mycroft here was the one to label me dangerous but flip the coin and you'll just find me an extraordinary human. There was no need to fear my abilities, and it would be much more if unleashed to the world. Jim was so adorable."
"Eurus, we had an agreement." Mycroft suddenly whispered that got Sherlock even more suspicious for he had seen her end game but there were other answers to be confirmed as he turned yet again to his ever-knowing brother who must have figured everything out the moment he knew Eurus was behind the scheme.
"She sent those files to our parents, why?"
"In the hopes that they turn me in." Sherlock was always impressed how his older brother could be so unconnected sometimes. "It seems she was successful."
"Isolation." Eurus supplied coolly from her perch, "See, Sherlock, if Mycroft was to be let go of the British Government, who else do you think would embrace him back?" Sherlock's brows furrowed at her intent while Mycroft shook his head.
"I keep repeating it, your notion that my relationship with our parents being not strained is erroneous. After they found out about you, there's only one other role they can play and that's to resent me."
"It's always fun to add fuel to the fire." Eurus chanted sweetly, "As you rub salt in a wound."
Sherlock then saw the pattern of her scheme— disconnect Mycroft from the government, disconnect Mycroft from their parents—and what next?
"You sent my own file to John…" Sherlock paused, eyes on Eurus though his suspicious was already formed.
"As to put him in danger, obviously." Eurus replied in a conversational tone, "Although Mycroft already had a hand in that. The first real email he sent on his own."
The brothers exchanged glances and Mycroft did nothing to defend himself.
"Why?" Sherlock demanded accusingly.
"It was my initiative of course." Eurus went on, "Our brother's organization is not so soft-hearted to let one information slip from under their nose. Thereby sending one to John also puts him in the list of people that must be silenced. Once the email had been sent I was expecting you'd confront our dear brother and not… tag along like some puppy again. I thought you'd be livid and leave him but you always do surprise me." It was the first time that a crease on her forehead appeared, "Seriously, Sherlock, get some life. His isolation will be incomplete if you keep running after him, I thought you disliked having him follow you? You told me yourself when we had chips."
"Eurus, what are you doing?" Sherlock's voice was hollow—just exactly what kind of help was she giving—?
"Setting our brother free of the burden, Sherlock. Didn't you hear me? I want to help him."
Sherlock wasn't listening as something else occurred to him that was making him stare at Eurus, his expression a mixture of displeasure and rage. Displeasure because this was not what he wanted for Eurus and surely it was never Mycroft's intention. Rage because right there and then, Eurus would always be after destruction. In this case, she had solely dedicated this return just to destroy what their eldest had spent his whole life for.
If there was anyone in that room unexcited at the prospect of this revelation and was unmoved all together, it was Mycroft Holmes. For one who has his life getting crushed before his feet, he looked too calm. Sherlock turned to his brother, his expression frustrated.
"I already told you I'm sorry." Mycroft began but he was far from it, appearance wise.
Sherlock ignored him. "Are we really going to let this happen?"
"It has already happened, what better countermeasure than go along with it."
"She's getting rid of you! For good!"
"How happy we are." Sarcasm was Mycroft's ever winning charm.
"Why involve John?"
"He is your pressure point." Mycroft explained in the simplest manner, "Any danger on his way would have rendered you livid and the best option for you to always hate me."
"Idiot." Sherlock gritted his teeth. Then he paused as something else occurred to him— "The MI6— you never told them how she is behind this? You plan to take the fall all along? Why not tell them about her!"
Mycroft sighed. "That would be unwise considering the only reason she is not persecuted was her inability to be liable given her state of mind. And if none took it, how are we to explain the sent records from my address when the best of hackers confirmed it to be me? We might as well go with the flow. Besides, I have erased all traces linked with her. It is just plain me."
"It is a plausible plan, you have to admit." Eurus said that earned a glare from the consulting detective.
"Mycroft, you—" Sherlock swore under his breath. "Why didn't you tell me about her—or our parents!"
At that, Mycroft considerably stopped and let his eyes fall to his brother.
"And what of you? Still going to act as the shield of this family?"
"That is mine to bear." Mycroft sat up straight but there was no constraint in his voice. He was simply admitting facts. "Perhaps I am fortunate not to be burdened by too heavy a heart or every time I did something of secrecy I would be weigh down by it, no thank you, Sherlock. I'll leave all the guilt work to you. My mind always and will be ruling out the entire of me. From our family troubles, you and with regards to Eurus," he notched an eyebrow in her direction, "Her nature is to be what she is, we cannot help it, nor prevent it— only protect it."
"Mycroft—" Sherlock sighed in despair—
"Sherlock, you must really learn to live your life on your own and stop relying on our eldest." Eurus went on with a blank face. "I mean, now that he's been discarded, there's hardly any use for him now. And can't you still see the help I'm giving? I'm freeing Mycroft from all his troubles!"
"Shut up." Sherlock snarled for the first time, his anger sifting through, making both Mycroft and Eurus to stare. "You don't get to say a word when he's the one fixing your mess. Shut up."
He found Mycroft staring at him in a new light. It did not improve his already worsening temper at the idiocy of both his siblings. Must he be the only person sane at this perilous moment?
"What am I to tell our parents?" he visibly saw Mycroft scoff and even smile at him grimly.
"Tell them I ran away. They would find it amusing."
"Only idiots would believe that."
"Disappear is not out of my league too. Anyway, brothermine, that is you burden to carry. I wash my hands of all our family drama. The only thing left is for me to convince you to leave me be since Eurus was unsuccessful with the first attempt. She's recognized we have some sort of attachment, but she doesn't know you as well as I do. It takes one act of felony to turn you."
Sherlock raised his head and shot his brother a look.
"What do you mean?"
"It means the reason I brought you here is for my own closure."
"Why did you bring me here?"
"To say good bye."
Sherlock stared at his brother. So startled was he that he was unable to reply back and the moment he did, his brother was ready for his next words—and with his sharp glinting eyes Sherlock only knew it well—
"Should you show any sign of wanting to hamper this plan, Sherlock—should you proceed to thwart me I am sorry but, I must oppose you." At that, he opened the briefcase on the table and presented it to his brother quietly. Sherlock saw a red button with plenty of mechanisms inside that made him grudgingly look at his eldest.
"You're insane. You plan to blow yourself up?"
"No. At least, not this place."
In their background, Sherlock could see Eurus's broadening grin.
"Tick tock." She chanted gleefully.
-To be Continued-
a/n: Still screaming here!
I have been reading plenty of Victorian pastiches with Mycroft's involvement!
And my oh my I want to publish my very own Victorian style!
I meant a real book! I recommend you guys read the
Holmes' Boys: Sherlock and Mycroft's Childhood by Mona Morstein!
It's on point and ohhhh the feels! If we talk of bookmarks I must've labeled half of it!
Oh yes, one chapter to go? ONE? XD
Thanks for reading! ^_^
*Storm in a Teacup*
A/N: Early treat for weekend is short :o
Final chapter ahead!
Thanks for reading :)
Mycroft never doubted Sherlock not to take the bait. As he often told himself, he knew his brother's way of thinking and even had become aware his brother's response with regards to emotion added with his impulsiveness; Mycroft not only assessed the reawakening of his younger brother's 'emotions' but recent events made him realize that like many humans, his brother was now inclined to sentiment. But sentiments make people both predictable and unpredictable. All that was needed was motivation.
You want a human to pay attention? Threaten their love ones and all that they ever cared about.
It was the most crafted plan he had devised in order to get rid of his brother's bad habit of tailing after him—no, that wasn't accurate—tailing after he's so called Game On! There shall be no 'onning' in this event, there shall be no Sherlock and certainly not a John Watson at his heels. But Sherlock was ever the obstinate student and Mycroft knew no persuasion, no coercion would move him except this. Because even if apocalypse threatened to happen right in front of his face, Sherlock Holmes was not one to halt and stop to watch it happen. He'll give a helping hand.
And no, this was not about any melodrama—for only Sherlock was prone to such dramatic— what Mycroft was offering was beyond anyone's understanding save himself. A craft of his caliber, of his capability was meant to make people abide. If his brother had any brains at all he would see what he, Mycroft, was making him see. All that was needed was for him to look harder because in this game no players can both be knights. No two players can always remain on the same side.
In fact, the notion should be familiar to his brother for he was the one who labeled their relationship—archenemy. A touch of the drama, now turned to reality. All they were doing was a make-do of such relationship where they can no longer ignore their positions. Many times, Mycroft had seen his brother's eyes shine when cases turned out to be a little out of his depth—meaning that he, Mycroft Holmes had a hand in— and would do everything in pursuit of the solution whatever or whoever maybe on the other side of table for this was Sherlock's justice. The Dragon Slayer.
Well, isn't his eldest brother the greatest dragon of all? So why wasn't he slayed?
Mycroft dealt with Sherlock many times, collide heads with him, sometimes end with his brother's physical assault of his senior. Mycroft had never forgotten the one too many where Sherlock—under the influence of his habit—had twisted his arm when they found themselves in an opposition. It never mattered to Sherlock who. Sherlock will always be the pirate. And Mycroft had decided to play on that card for it was of most important now.
Because the course had change. The British Government was his no more and if they plan to capture him he was not one to make it easy for any side. And the fact that foreign countries were also on the move made Mycroft so resolute to do this posthaste. No humour in the name of Sherlock was needed in dire situations. So, this here, was his final resort to earn the complete understanding and abiding of his younger sibling. Disconnection was what Eurus wanted upon the checkmate and Mycroft had answered with his usual can be arranged. It was not hard for he knew he was already hunted down by a number of Secret Service of different countries as well. Once he arranged the matter of his brother not gunning after his back, he would arrange everything else to escape the clutches of his pursuers. It was unlikely for the British Secret Service to let others make use of him anyway. Such was the fate of every agent, every mastermind who get retired on time.
Eurus was always thorough, he had to give her that.
He stared his brother in the eyes then with the coldest stare. This was no game, he related by mere eye contact. He had seen Sherlock's eyes shine at the few minutes when he saw his eldest brother and younger sister in cahoots and this inspired the eldest to proceed with the plan for Sherlock was never one to refuse such a challenge. At that, Mycroft never doubted Sherlock not to take the bait.
"What am I to make of this?" Sherlock began slowly after a few seconds of silence as he finally realized the gravity of his eldest's proposal. "You plan to destroy everything you've worked for in the name of the Queen because our little sister bested you with the internet?"
Eurus giggle while Mycroft arched his favourite eyebrow and sighed.
"I thought you'd be smart enough to identify it isn't just about her trifle surfing. Well, let me make amends to your shortcoming by telling you this—my business as a Secret Service agent has reached its peak and with Eurus' aid or not I would have to deal with this eventuality. I told you before, people like us… we get retired. It's only a matter of time and when such time has come I have told myself to embrace it."
"You mean to die willingly?" Sherlock's already furrowed eyebrows, if possible, deepened even further.
"No, I am never suicidal. When I say embrace it's what happens when people like me survive. Mary, for instance, tried to survive. I'm giving myself another five years."
It was obvious Sherlock was kindled by the mention of her name which only made Mycroft smirk.
"Touché?" he prompted.
"I'll give you five minutes if you don't shut up now." Sherlock snapped with a low voice. "There are still some aspects that don't quite fall in the piece, for instance, what is this trigger for?"
"This?" Mycroft's sharp grey eyes lingered at the red button, "This is the beginning of the erasure of my existence to the last mark. Eurus has made an inescapable route for me and even if I don't want to exonerate her of her crime, I have already deleted her connection with my address. No further evidence will link her to this 'hacking' fiasco. All that is left is myself to tend do and since the firework has been ignited, we might as well see it to the end. For one— this is an explosive directly planted at the heart of the Diogenes Club."
"I would have made that place a target during my freelance but it's quite a bore." Eurus said in a mocking tone.
Both the brothers ignored her as finally, Mycroft saw his brother's eyes flicker a little but no emotion passed his face.
"And the others?" the consulting detective was ever astute.
"Very good, Sherlock—yes, there are more, of course—"
"Let me guess, your home office in the cabinet, your underground office in London, you house in Pall Mall," he added with gritted teeth, eyes flashing, "You plan to erase every trace of every places you've ever been."
"Our code in the Service. My initiative."
"And then what? Disappear?"
"That is the plan." Eurus offered with a little silent glee on her face.
"What makes you think I'd want to stop it?" Sherlock was still refusing her comments.
"The very same reason I found you inside my car an hour ago." Mycroft's eyes darkened for this was the real treat of the night—intimidate Sherlock. "I knew you have no bounds in that ever-eclectic behavior of yours; you've found me not once, you've altered some of my plans, even completely annihilated one or two so I am taking no chances this time, Sherlock. This time you will listen to me—this time you will abide my word that you will clear off my path. I am not willing to have you gun in for the fun of it. Or I swear brother, I will destroy you as I have destroyed many without prejudice."
"Just as you are destroying yours, it seems."
"I am actually saving what's left of it for myself."
Sherlock snorted disapprovingly. "All of this because you can't even have the gall to ask for my help?"
"I don't want your help." Mycroft replied drily. "Things get complicated when you do and I don't trust you enough with whatever I have schemed. No, you're not part of this. Such nuisance from one sibling is already enough."
He glared at Eurus on the screen who smirked at him.
"You're being honest for the first time, brother."
"With what's going to be left of me, I'm afraid I need all the honesty I can get."
"All you needed to do was say it." Sherlock muttered but his face was already set and Mycroft could see the effect of his words this time. He was getting through. Only one more corner and Sherlock will see his way—
"I'll give you a real push, brothermine, so you'd believe what you say."
As if on cue, Sherlock's mobile rang and that was all Mycroft needed. He watched his brother pick up the phone in answer, watched his younger brother's eyes widen in alarm and had flashed him an enquiring look—
"Every place that knows me, brother." He added with a touch as Sherlock gaped and listened on the other line.
"Mrs. Hudson— calm down." He whispered and Mycroft didn't even blink but stared his brother down again. The next words of the landlady seemed to finally give Sherlock the reason to worry, "Get out of the house—get everybody out within the radius—call Lestrade!"
"Tik-tok." Eurus whispered somewhere around them.
He hung up and was on the phone after a second, his immediate next call too obvious for the eldest Holmes.
"John—" his expression next told Mycroft that everything was about to be severed, that everything that bound them together by blood was already collapsing after stepping on that line and that finally, Sherlock was to see how he was out of his depths—that he was really apt to play the archenemy when Mycroft becomes serious, in a manner of speaking, of destroying lives. "Can you get out?"
Panicked flamed his brother's eyes for a few seconds. Mycroft met it when it was thrown in his direction in the most begrudging manner. It was nothing new to him, of course. Sherlock, reasonable or not, always found excuses to hate him. Mycroft was already congratulating himself silently, with Eurus' voice behind him mimicking Moriarty's time count, when his younger brother breathed into the phone. "That's good, that's great John… well done. Take care of my parents— keep everyone away from the place—I'm fine… just sorting out things… with the mastermind."
Mycroft pressed a small smile and watched as his younger brother hung up, all attention to him.
"What…" Sherlock said with much emphasis, "the hell are you up to?"
Anger seethed his brother's visage and Mycroft couldn't have hope for a better result.
"I see John is always the soldier." He said quietly, "Always the rescue unit— like a lap dog."
"WHY?" Sherlock's voice was full and resonant that it echoed in the entire place like a mountain lion's roar. Mycroft smiled. His brother was always easily moved when his priorities—in this case 'friends'—are concerned.
"You leave me be." He said simply with his features commanding and utterly stern, "That no matter how 'fun' you think my situation is that you will make exceptions and never follow my thread. I know you know the kind of people I will deal with in my absence and I beg you brother—no—order you never to get involved. It is fine for you to chase away and a do a living with all the petty crimes you have on your hands daily but this one you must not pick or I will retaliate. I have shown you what I'm capable of when the need rises and I assure you not one of your friends will be safe. This is where I severe ties with you, Sherlock Holmes. This is even the last time I call you this, brothermine."
He recited it like a doctrine. Unfeeling and ever cold. There was not a touch of remorse on his voice and everything he said came out like gunshots of finality. And Mycroft Holmes was not one to get back on his words. Sherlock must understand that for he is as much as a brain as his brother.
"Is this for the country?" came Sherlock's sudden voice to which Mycroft merely nodded.
"Certainly, as I was much loyal to it than to my family. You know that."
"Yet he kept me alive for years." Eurus' own voice joined the fray. "You are such an irony, Mycroft."
Mycroft, again, smiled and he saw a dismayed look passed his brother's face.
"Don't push your luck, Eurus." The eldest began quite coldly, "You may have begun my downfall but I tell you I'll lead myself to it with hell's fire dancing. I am no longer in the position to keep you in check but certainly who ever will be charged next will be crueler for people who do not understand what they fear—because that is what Sherrinford is—they tend to act most human. Do not expect the same courtesy I have shown you to that of the next Secret Service head. Good luck. And as for you." He turned back to Sherlock who had gone still, dark eyes brooding and ever transfixed at his senior. "I have made my terms clear. What say you?"
Sherlock's answer was to be expected. Given no choice, even if he was the hardheaded one and would most likely threw everything away, Sherlock was not dumb to accept defeat. It was clear on the table already. And besides, Mycroft's term was simple: leave me alone. It was something Sherlock must not cling over for both of them have separate lives. Mycroft was just one of those fixes Sherlock needed to get over himself and his boredom. What was the difference with a year, or five years or forever without Mycroft? Mycroft never brought Sherlock up to be dependent after all.
The answer was clear and Mycroft's mind was already drifting to the activities below when he heard his brother's sharp in take of breath. The next thing, Sherlock was talking again in his deep, sonorous voice.
"You just want me to forget everything here. Is that all?"
"Yes, most certainly all."
"That I do not pick after you and erase your existence in my mind?"
"If you could do it before I don't see any reason why you couldn't do so now."
Sherlock stared at him hard and Mycroft waited with such an expression that dared a different answer. He stood tall too and entertained Sherlock's challenging stare. He then saw him clutch his fist on the table with eyes falling on the tea set just beside the briefcase.
Then Sherlock was talking again.
"Fine." He looked up and his eyes, more than his words, made Mycroft believe everything between them had been severed. "You can guarantee no involvement from me, not even recognition. As I have said, all you needed to do was ask."
"If I could trust that, why do you think we've ever ended in this place, little brother?"
"You don't get to call me that as you've already severed our ties." The consulting detective's tone was purely acid, his dark eyes glinting dangerously. "You don't need to trust me any more than I need to you; I won't follow any thread, any lead or anything about you. You want to make a point of me being a nuisance? I'll gladly follow your last request. And if to satisfy you means severing our ties all together then by no means consider yourself a stranger. Here and now we part ways but if I am to be of the body of the authority then I have every right to accuse you that you have just broken the laws of this nation. Treason to Her Majesty's Service and obvious threat to the innocent people of this nation." His eyes drifted to the contraption inside the briefcase. Then he looked up and in there Mycroft finally recognize revulsion. "You just became a criminal. The most loathsome one who controls at the background to make people suffer. Prepare to be put to justice."
"There," Mycroft plastered a quick smile on his lips. "Quite clear now isn't it? Now that we've made our positions clear I suggest you move along and be clear off this house. I did not prepare this setting so that you could arrest me on the spot." He gestured at the briefcase. In the background, Eurus was giggling somehow.
"Obviously." The detective stepped down and glared at the man opposite him. "And what happens to the Diogenes? A man like you on the edge would certainly push the button even when I don't stop you."
"It needs erasing."
"Immediate explosion as this is directly connected to the one at the heart of the Club. The rest will get activated on their own in the span of fifteen minutes each—at my underground, Pall Mall, home office and the rest."
"An hour and a quarter."
"One more question."
"What's happening downstairs?"
Mycroft's gray eyes glinted as he stared at his brother with a small smile.
"Finally noticed, have you? And no, you still lack the concentration or you would have really observed. The people downstairs are obviously not the hood looms you think they are, they are under my orders seeing as I own the place."
"More hood looms." Sherlock stared at him transfixed that planted a smile on Mycroft's lips.
"Yes, well, your brain worries me. Did you really not recognize who they really are for what they are, and you consider yourself the master of disguise, Sherlock Holmes?"
"Who?" Sherlock bellowed, his voice that of a policeman finally interrogating his prisoner.
"A group of people who likes to invade houses, wearing clown suits and little girl's dresses, attacking people on whims and destroying half the said people's house portrait—sound familiar?"
"One of them was that ghastly youth you brought on Christmas. If you remember the punch incident?"
"He helped me round this lot."
"Why would he help you?" the younger Holmes' eyes narrowed. "Why would you use them?"
"Because they had to know what it means to cross my path, Sherlock. Even if it was your doing, the fact that some of them even managed to penetrate my former house—and one who actually committed high treason by assaulting me with his concoction—no, you really didn't expect me to not hold a grudge, did you?"
"Why are they here?"
"For a purpose you'll later know." Mycroft straightened his chin, his eyes cold. "So, I suppose this is where we part ways. I do not want to see a shadow of you or else I shall do my best in full retaliation. Be gone."
Sherlock showed no compulsion to follow and remained rooted on the spot.
Mycroft stared at him, and then sighed inwardly as if reading his brother's mind and pressed the button. There was a blast of beep and then gone. Sherlock gaped at him with his lips parting, the color of his face draining. Not long after, they heard distant sounds of siren and had it not been for the table, Mycroft was sure Sherlock would have grabbed his collar and give him a hard pounding.
"You—" Sherlock was enraged that he rattled the table, causing for the Meissen teacup to topple and crack on the floor.
"I won't linger if I were you." Mycroft said coldly with an eye on the shattered tea cup. "I have already risked time trying to convince you. Fourteen minutes and forty-nine seconds from now another explosion will occur. It is best that you attend to your friend's need for they will need it most. Also, it would seem my time is already up. Goodbye, Sherlock Holmes."
It was at that moment that Sherlock crinkled his nose, looking startled. Mycroft watched him look behind to the doorway and then in the air as if trying to make his mind about something. But Mycroft understood. It was part of the plan.
"Kerosene!" the younger Holmes injected with a flash of look at the man in front of him. "You know no bounds!"
Eurus laughed somewhere and somehow it was her last as the television shut down as the electricity got cut off.
"This is the last place the Secret Service noted my presence." Mycroft whispered quietly as he dusted his suit. "And this is where they shall see me last." His own eyes flashed at his younger brother. "Be off with you."
Sherlock only stared back coldly at this offhand way of discarding a dog.
Mycroft had seen many dramatic exits but this one appeared to have made an impression for as he turned, especially with the smoke now beginning to enter the apertures of the door, he saw no visible movements from his brother. Mycroft ignored him and was about to take his first step when he felt a sudden tug on his right arm. Looking down he saw Sherlock's hand, pulling him back.
Mycroft turned and saw him there, standing with every bit of resolution in his face. And Mycroft knew just how his brother always wanted to have the last word. He could already guest what the man would say as he opened his mouth with the fire eating the doorway away that made both their eyes watery.
"I will not move from here. You be gone."
Mycroft made no sense of that and blinked in apparent perplexity. Behind Sherlock, the older Holmes saw the flames enter the room fully from the roof. As it was a very old building with contents of trash and woods inside he had already calculated the amount of time for it to get consumed. In no less than two minutes, the fire will devour the house. The ceiling ignited and Mycroft's eyes fell on his younger brother again whose face was not swayed by the danger. With a curt nod, he turned and stalked of.
"As you wish." He said and reached the backdoor of the room which was getting hotter as moment passed. He turned the knob before it gets any warmer and made to leave. Only, he looked back. He had to look back for Sherlock was still there, standing, bold as brass, with no apparent concern to the destruction of the ceiling right on top of him or cared as his hair got singes or his coat get caught in flames— Mycroft was mostly not concerned. His brother was not stupid to continue with it, not when his life was at stake—he was overly fond of himself—
Mycroft entered the room and was halfway across the narrow hall he had gone in when he looked back again and found the door he had just left now as bright as the sun. And still he could hear no sound of running feet—
"What the devil—" Mycroft muttered as he dashed back in the room and still found him there. With a curse, Mycroft ran in front of his brother, grabbed him by the collar and found him unmoving. "What are you doing standing around? Let's go!"
Sherlock didn't dare move an inch. Fire and thick smoke was all around them it was making it hard to breathe and see. Mycroft covered his nose and tried once again to drag that ever stubborn brother of his.
"Sherlock!" he bellowed angrily—
Only to find his wrist gripped so tight. The older Holmes looked up at the owner and saw Sherlock staring at him with very bright eyes. It must have been because of the flames because Sherlock's eyes were damp and glistening as he shook his head.
"We're still brothers, aren't we? Mycroft?" his gaze was steady but his voice betrayed him. The older Holmes had such a hard time reading his features that in the end all he could do was tug on Sherlock's collar repeatedly.
"Come now, Sherlock—you're in flames for godsake! Get a move on!"
The old house was consumed in the next few seconds, lighting that ever lonely street, attracting attention of the intoxicated people and young and the old. Its fire danced in the darkness of the night, its heat felt, its crackling noise the only music in the ear of the audience who watched in amazement as the whole building finally gave in to its aggressor, and collapsed.
-To be Continued-
a/n: The Holmes brothers will be back with the final *dark* turn of events!
For our Resolution and Epilogue!
For the eternal Mycroft and Sherlock!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
Chapter 8: End
*Storm in a Teacup*
The end has come again.
But then, we never really get tired of endings.
Parts I & II!
Thanks for reading :)
"Dammit." John muttered under his breath as he finished speaking to Mrs. Hudson seconds ago while he stood by the sidewalk in the middle of the night with a torn palm that had been bleeding profusely after he broke the window at the back of the house to escape with the Holmeses.
He had found at least seven installed explosives in the house, from the kitchen to the living room's fireside, one at the threshold leading to the study room and the rest were all concealed to the different exit doors. The wires were all linked that made John cautious to its set up that he opted the back window as a means to safety, taking along with him the apprehensive parents of his best friend. His palm got torn in the process and with his medical expertise, did the best thing he could and wrapped a handkerchief around it before calling Sherlock, Molly for Rosamund and finally the landlady. Her news did not surprise him and his mind raced, the way he thought Sherlock would connect everything. The result made him curse.
"What's the meaning of this?" Mrs. Holmes finally asked as they stood a few steps from him while waiting for the police to arrive. "How is the house covered with bombs?"
John gave them a look and shook his head, "I really don't know… it's complicated." He had a notion though. A very bad notion regarding Mycroft's involvement.
Mrs. Holmes gave him the most piercing look. "Oh, yes, you do. It is all very simple and obvious. It's Mycroft's job all over again, isn't it? His enemies? They found us?"
The doctor licked his lips and weighed his answers as he remembered this was his genius best friend's mother. Of course, she has suspicions. He stayed quiet for a while before nodding. She let out a loud exclamation while Mr. Holmes stared at John with a frown on his face.
"Are we safe out here?" he asked.
"No," John looked around, his eyes narrowed. "not yet."
"And the boys?"
"I don't think we have time to worry about them just yet, but knowing Sherlock he's a living magnet for it." John turned on his phone. "I'm calling Greg to check on them, since he's not here. He's got a tracking device on my phone, I told him it would be useful… eventually."
Mrs. Holmes wrapped her arms around herself looking very concerned.
"If something happens to him…"
"He's gonna be fine. He's Sherlock. It's Mycroft I'm worried about."
"Mycroft can take care of himself."
"Trust me, he'll get himself killed out there if Sherlock's not with him."
She looked at him in disbelief and shook her head.
"It isn't like Mycroft to be careless. He's always looking after himself. I just can't bring myself to worry about a son who's got the whole Britain's police body on his disposal." Mrs. Holmes looked to her husband, "It's Sherlock who's got nothing around him." The doctor turned his back on Mrs. Holmes, with the phone on his ears. He decided to call Greg, all the while listening to her monologue. "…what Mycroft would do to preserve himself, that should be obvious. He's survived till this day while working for them. He's in no danger as the Prime Minister in his quarters."
"That isn't exactly true." John glanced back to her, unable to get hold of the Detective Inspector and finally whirling to the old Mrs. whom he could not blame for anything—for in the beginning Mycroft had been on their wrong side. But Mrs. Holmes was not seeing something he himself had failed to see before. Mycroft Holmes was never a self-preserving bastard!
"What isn't true?" she asked skeptically while John stood there, "Well? Tell me. With Mycroft's power—"
John waved his hand. "Mrs. Holmes, I'm so sorry but you've got to stop. You can't blame Mycroft for everything right now—well, he's got some twisted idea of how to handle things that should earn him a smack in the face but that doesn't make him accountable for everything going on; if you'd put it, he's as innocent as Eurus—no matter how goddamn stubborn he is to admit to every single thing. You know that's the problem with genius—they always think it's all about them. Selfish pricks who think they must solve everything. And Mycroft's not immune to that. It's possible he's more prone to it."
John paused, sensing he wasn't making any sense as the Holmeses were both gaping at him in furrowed brows. He couldn't exactly encapsulate everything going on in a single word for these are the Holmes brothers! To shorten everything was no good in giving justice to the explanation.
"It's like this—" he went on more carefully, "He may not express it because he's a prick but—Mycroft will gladly disappear in the surface of the earth for any of you, got it?
They were both silence and he assumed they did—but then noticed that their eyes weren't on him but looking behind him. Turning around, John saw three men in neat dark suit complete with dark tie walk up to them from a black car. The ex-military doctor stood rigid as they came near.
The whole building collapsed to its oblivion, filling the cold night with such fiery brightness it threatened to reach the sky. The cloud of black smoke was massive and the heat was scorching even to the few spectators on the side. Floor after floor collapsed and thunderous sound of the wreckage was heard at the top of all the shouts and sirens in the air.
It was a scene of total destruction and no one doubted anyone surviving.
Until a door was kicked open from the back of the flaming building, concealed by the blazing flames and thick smoke—and the well-known silhouette of Sherlock emerged from the devastation, half carrying and half dragging his older brother in a one-arm pull with Mycroft coughing so violently. They were both worse for wear with Sherlock's black suit full of scorch marks, his white collar blackened and his thick coat already left behind and eaten by the flames. Mycroft's own three-piece suit somehow survived with only singes and dark patches but his face was pale as he continued coughing aggressively. Sherlock did not stop dragging him and pulled him to the nearest alley where it was cool and where no prying eyes could see them. He did not stop till they came out of the said alley and turned on the next curve, ending in an empty, dark backstreet covered in shadows of buildings around. He looked around and felt his brother slip away from his arms to lean on the nearest wall and continued the exertions of his lungs that filled the silent lane.
Sherlock watched him quietly with a sudden sigh escaping his lips. He watched him breath in some air, only to end up coughing once more, his whole back shuddering at each convulsion, his arms shaking uncontrollably at each turn.
"We should not stop here." Sherlock advised as he swept his eyes to their surrounding once more. "If anyone's watching that building they'd be watching the backdoor intentionally. If we're dealing with people of your level, I don't think escaping's as easy as kicking doors."
Mycroft's whole form shook one last time, and then his spasms stopped as Sherlock spoke. He then slowly straightened his crooked back, breathing heavily. He put a palm on his sweaty face and wiped it as he stood his ground and when he turned, Sherlock saw his eyes was watery from the seizure. Mycroft blinked a few times and the glisten disappeared but his face remained white as ash. Their eyes met.
"This wasn't part of the plan." He breathed but if he was worried, he didn't show it.
"Time to make another." Sherlock replied shortly, "And this time you tell me everything. Casting me out like that was a stupid move."
"It wasn't till you meddled in." Mycroft clutched his middle and breath in some air again. "Why don't you ever listen?"
"We can do the banter later, Mycroft—now, for the escape route? Is it still your car or do you have another gate away with my network?"
"As far as they're concerned, their job is done. As for me—and you—we have to go separate ways—" when Sherlock's eyebrow rose up, the older Holmes insisted, "This time you listen too—and no more throwing yourself in the fire feat—you're not a child to tantrum. This is serious."
"I suppose my intention wasn't clear enough." Sherlock sighed, and when Mycroft frowned at him he continued, "Look, I didn't stay behind because I want to meddle with your business or get in the way of everything." He closed his eyes and sighed again, before looking up at his brother impatiently. "Can't you really tell why I'm still here? Standing with you?"
Mycroft stared at him briefly before looking away and clearing his throat. Sherlock had to look away too and didn't care. His stupid brother had to understand and if it needed pushing in his face, he'll throw it flat. It was the older Holmes who conceded first as he shook his head and stared at him again, his features changing to something Sherlock could never read.
"You really are my stupid little brother."
Sherlock stared back at him and felt a slight grin caught up his lips.
"Not as stupid as you. Now since we're both clear on that—tell me everything I don't already know."
Mycroft glared at him but Sherlock did not budge. He never put up with the idea in the beginning and was certain that somehow, at the bottom of it, something far deeper and deadly was lurking. Otherwise Mycroft would never turn his back on him. If Sherlock was confident of one thing about everything in this ever-changing world, it was that his older brother, Mycroft, was the most responsible and reliable person in the world.
To the point of even severing ties. Sherlock couldn't forgive him for that—couldn't forgive the circumstance behind it so he needs to understand, and do what he could do best.
Mycroft was silent for a moment, till he slowly stepped back and leaned on the wall for support. Sherlock regarded him, looking very worn out for the first time yet his gray eyes were as sharp as ever. Then he began:
"I told you almost all of it—the hacking from Sherrinford, Eurus in the background, the MI6 out of their wits not knowing what to do after finding out their best government asset appears to be traitor… the government was in pandemonium. There were plenty of private hearings in those five days, not once, twice till I opened their eyes that if not me, then surely, some else was behind the treason? Because what merit—what possible value will it give me to surrender the names of people we promised to protect? I wasn't as bored as they think I was. Of course, there's no way they could trace Eurus any longer so I had to make do of another enemy that didn't necessarily have to be me. It took forty-eight hours to come to a decision. I remained a guilty party—perhaps they feared me so. I was ordered to a house arrest but I had to move on my own before the official issuance of my arrest appears—I believe they are after me now too. Hopefully, to be caught alive."
"So, you are on the run." Sherlock smirked. "England should be thankful you're really not the enemy."
"As to you." Mycroft let out another sigh, his eyes dimming all of a sudden, "Then comes the fact that by this time my own house has already exploded as well."
"It means you had a plan of no return." Sherlock muttered darkly, "But since we're all not cleared—not us at least, you had to find someone to put all the blame into?"
Mycroft nodded, "Yes, the next part was to find who was the instigator of all the hacking? I couldn't let them find Eurus so what was I to do?" he raised his eyes to Sherlock questioningly as if the answer lay with his brother even if he knew the answer very well.
And Sherlock—with his own mind palace—immediately saw his brother's next step and that was to find a culprit that would fall in the category. So, he opened the door to all the possible hackers, all the names of the most prominent, most well-known computer genius of the century—limiting it to thirty years ago of Vladimir Levin and Kevin Mitnick's time—to Mathew Bevan and Richard Pryce—then ten years ago to ASTRA and Albert Gonzales—but no this was someone more recent, someone who had tried with the government around this time. Someone who would be easy for Mycroft to pin down because that was what his brother was doing to cover their sister and capture at the same time one of the most active hackers of the year—someone that caught the attention of the government already—
Sherlock's eyes widen in their sockets as he breathed the answer—
Mycroft raised both eyebrows with a short nod. "They've been operating since the mid2000s, a group of hackers associated with the GRU, the counterpart of our MI6 in Russia. Their sole purpose is to target government, military and security organizations to serve the political interest of their country thereby helping foreign candidates—as what you already know with the recent elections across the globe—to win by spreading false information, "weaponize information", as what our PM had said as part of the cyberespionage and disruption. In short—all I had to do was to flush out the Russian hacker present in the country that plays a vital role for the Fancy Bear. And I did. In five hours I managed to flush him out of his hiding place, all that was there is for the arrest. Nobody had to know that Eurus was ever part of this."
Sherlock's features slowly contorted into a frown.
"You 'managed' to flush him out, you said… at what cost? Why do you have to go to all the trouble of severing ties and all those rubbish?" Something was missing in the piece. And the look his older brother gave him—a blank, impassive stare that was always use to hide his real emotion if there was any— was the only clue Sherlock needed to know that something grave was about to be said.
"The people, this coalition who took the matter of my arrest in their hands couldn't find in themselves to trust me at once. So, escaping the arrest, I had to do something extreme to calibrate their reservations when I return and prove them wrong. I could not involve any important names in the government. In this situation I could not involve anyone at all so I suggested myself to myself since my profile on the MI6 was already marked as a mole. It was the only way to get my target. My title which can attract the eyes of our outlaws, I who carry the consonant letter 'C' walking and talking? All military intelligence of the world knows our supposed Secret Service Chief is just for front; my existence is known yet is inexistent to the world. Until now."
"You spread your own information as a double agent…" Sherlock whispered slowly with heavy, understanding eyes to his brother, "to catch a common cyberthief? On the internet? And the government just let you?"
"I am the government." Mycroft said calmly and with a small smile, "I helped myself, it was only the front of my profile. Just so they know how important I am." He smirked.
"Was it a secure line directly to your target?" Sherlock demanded at once.
Mycroft did not answer and the consulting detective swore as he paced around the backstreet. "So, you sent your profile—all around for the KGB and other groups to see—great!"
"I think you're acting like John." His older brother commented coolly.
"I am thinking like John and right now I want to punch you in the face." Sherlock said through gritted teeth as he threw a look over his brother, "You just compromised yourself in the world of terrorists just to catch a single individual to cover our sister's tracks! You think whoever you'll caught will admit to that?"
"It can be arranged. I will pursue his extradition."
"Then what? Your profile with the tagline British C will just quietly circulate the globe? How many agents do you think would want to get their hands on the Secret Service Head? Terrorist who suddenly found a real target?"
The British Government head smiled grimly.
"Now you understand why I insisted on severing ties? I know the danger of putting myself in the web of our target and it means planning out. I didn't think you'd object so passionately about this but do think—brothermine—for it is essential— the only biggest attraction aside from the PM and the Queen herself would be the existence of 'C'. If they come after me and this government captures them then all that had to happen to me is disappear, isn't it? But then it so happens that I had one of the biggest misfortune any criminal could ever have—I have you as a brother."
Sherlock looked outraged at that but Mycroft merely raised a hand. "Don't tell me I could have asked you easily, Sherlock, you know yourself you'd never listen. The very idea of telling you, 'Don't look for me', would only mark your resolve to do the entire opposite. And even if I explain things to you strand by strand I know for a fact, brothermine, that you'd put everything in the line to hunt down my predators because even if you deny it, you are a very doting little brother."
"And you're as bad." Sherlock muttered with eyes flickering as he looked at that brother with determined eyes, "You know telling me this would only make me stick to you like a wart?"
"You stuck with me even after I blew everything up and threaten our family." Mycroft shrugged. "How else am I to discourage you now?"
"It's not a question." Sherlock straightened again as he looked at his watch. The sound of siren from afar was still loud but the fire brightening the sky awhile ago was almost put out, he looked up at his brother. "So, you're on the run, on your own and you still didn't want my help—you've got plenty of confidence, don't you? How do you propose to catch your target if you're alone?"
"I didn't choose Bishopsgate for nothing." Mycroft frowned at his younger brother, as he straightened up too. "If this member of Fancy Bear is as good as he boasted himself to be then he ought to have gotten my message that I would be just around the corner from his hideout. And if he is any quicker and cunning than your average agent then at this moment he should be preparing to meet me or murder me—"
It was at that exact moment that something solid and sharp hit the stone wall behind Mycroft—at the exact place where his head had been seconds ago. The older Holmes was a second late to react but Sherlock was already pulling him in the next beat—
Take a break ;) Part II
Sherlock did not need to say twice as Mycroft kept up the rear with their heads down, hearing one after another the stone wall cracking in their midst as a silencer gun took aim after aim— it missed their heads once—twice—and one nearly taking a chunk of Sherlock's ears if not for Mycroft pulling him down the ground and the two scrambled to the opposite lane hidden from sight.
"Murder you, that is." Sherlock muttered with accusing eyes at his brother, then looking at the place they were in, he added, "Now it's a maze of streets, and your killer on the lose."
"It would seem they identified me useless after all." Mycroft whispered quietly, head turning to the sides.
"Or too dangerous that immediate execution is a must."
"Where is he?" Mycroft hissed as he looked from left to right, shoulder to shoulder with his younger brother who was looking up the sky.
"Rooftop." He glanced behind him, then to his brother, "Clearly on a murder spree."
"This is not how I planned it to be." Mycroft whispered through gritted teeth and Sherlock caught his sharp eyes pointedly looking at him. The consulting detective smiled briefly before looking about the surrounding again.
"Yeah, well, quickly try to incorporate your plan with what we have right now or I'm inclined to think you plan to be shot in the head once you meet your man."
"Not exactly," Mycroft sighed mysteriously but Sherlock tugged on his wrist and they scrambled to the end of the lane, their backs hunched. They stopped moving with their backs pressed on the wall, side by side and breathing still. "We're heading further into West—Sherlock we should be by the Liverpool Street at the clock tower."
"What's waiting for us there?" he felt his brother prodding him from behind but he didn't budge.
"Something! Now for crying out loud—move!"
Sherlock was pushed, still miffed at the fact that his brother was either too stupid or too clever at the same time.
"Well, d'you have a gun?" the detective inquired, looking across the road to another dark path he knew to be leading exactly to Liverpool Street. The street was clear so gesturing his head, he began to move in the open—
"What d'you think?"
"Empty handed, which again begs the deduction you planned to be shot on the head upon meeting your man."
"At White Hart, it's best we get there immediately—"
Three shots hitting the pavement and the next thing, Sherlock's hand had grabbed Mycroft's coat and was on the move again— till Sherlock felt the coat tearing on his force—Mycroft was beside himself—
"Then quit dillydallying!"
"If you ceased to remember—" Mycroft puffed some air, and still his younger brother pulled him, "I am not accustomed to too much physical activities!"
"I'd rather have you worn out than permanently dead." Sherlock muttered to himself as he dragged his big brother to another adjoining alley where a large square trash bin was standing below metal railings. He pushed his brother at its side— "We can't run forever, stay here—"
"I'm not letting you—"
"You're the bait! Do bait!" Sherlock snapped, as he looked around and saw the metal ladder above the trash bin. Climbing easily on top of it, he grabbed the ladder and looked back at Mycroft who was gaping at him, apparently realizing his plan, "Don't come out till you I signal you to—I'll find him and when I do, you go distract—but don't get shot for godsake. I'll tackle him."
"Jesus…" Mycroft whispered as Sherlock began to climb, his face full of perspiration. "Don't break your neck!"
Sherlock didn't look down for the next several minutes as he ascend on the ladder towards the rooftop. The metal was cold to his touch but he continued without any delay, knowing whose life was on the line. He reached the top, the cool wind hitting his face. A thick black smog still hung in the air but the fire from his six o'clock was already extinguished. Sherlock scanned the dark rooftop to where he identified the position of the gunman as he aimed. Turning, he traced a trail and found the spot empty. He looked below and saw no movements from Mycroft's position. Sherlock frowned and looked around again.
There was no sign of anyone.
Sherlock felt apprehensive and wondered if the man had decided to hunt on the ground below where his brother was alone and weaponless—he quickly looked at Mycroft's position again and saw him standing in the open street—
What was he doing?
Then a shot came—and another—missing Mycroft's heels by a second as the older Holmes turned to run. Sherlock leaned heavily on the corner of the roof top and saw a window below him—was a man pulling on a long L96a1— with aimed shots at the running figure below the ground. Sherlock didn't even hesitate to jump from where he was and with arms flailing, he caught the L96a1 tightly with one hand while his other clutched on the window pane for dear life. The man holding it was too shock to react but was on Sherlock in the next beat—
A crash happened in the floor as Sherlock pushed the assassin inside the room where they struggled mightily on the floor. The Russian spy was no easy feat for he was much taller, especially too as he produced a dagger next, whipping it in the air dangerously. Sherlock was beside himself as his own fighter and the expected clash happened.
It was during this struggle that the door of the room was banged open with Mycroft appearing on the scene, his whole face white from the running, breathless and tired. Sherlock saw the recognition in the spy's eyes and professional as he was, he put his left hand behind him and pulled out a hand gun and pointed it at the older Holmes' head— both Mycroft and Sherlock's eyes widen in alarm and a shot filled the air—
But Sherlock had twisted his own body to cover that of Mycroft's—twisting the man's arms at the same time that caused him to shriek in pain and drop the weapon. Sherlock then smashed his head on the nearest table with a loud crash it was meant to hurt. And the assassin was moving no more.
Sherlock watched the immobile body till he was alerted once again when someone grabbed him from the back. He sensed it was Mycroft and stopped his arms from attacking him too—to realize his brother was in panic state as he looked at him all over, touching his shoulder and arms, his eyes full of shadow of concern—
"Were you shot?" he whispered huskily in a stricken voice Sherlock had never seen him used. He shook his head and saw his older brother sigh in relief. Then his panic-stricken face turned back to its ever-reprimanding contortion—
"That was stupid, Sherlock!"
But Sherlock was only grinning.
"What is this?" Sherlock complained aloud as he found himself seated, not for the first time, inside a police ambulance with a blanket wrapped around his shoulder. "Who did this? Who called you?" he threw the question at Lestrade's face who was smirking at him from where he was standing. Before him, the Scotland Yard police had filled the empty street of Bishopsgate with their yellow tapes and intimidating officers.
Greg grinned wider. "John did. Said you were out playin' again and he's right. Here I find you torching up a building, catching international spies and all that. Just a common day, isn't it?"
"I didn't torch anything." Sherlock muttered as narrowed his eyes at the D.I, "where's John?"
"They should be coming in a minute, I was just talking to him on the phone. Apparently, they were picked up by a special force and sent them to the nearest station."
Sherlock turned his eyes and spied his brother standing some meters away from them to another ambulance where an unconscious Russian was tied on a stretcher. His arms were crossed, his expression set and Sherlock could just guess the numerous things playing on his brother's ever brilliant mind.
The consulting detective turned and his best friend stride along the paved street, crossing the yellow tapes towards him in all purpose of a medical man, "Are you okay?"
"Fine." Sherlock replied shortly as he saw his parents coming along after the doctor. He handed John the two phones that got nearly lost in the fire. "How are things on your side."
"We didn't get blown up, that's a plus side." John replied with dark eyes setting, "Was it Mycroft's doing?"
Sherlock nodded and pressed his lips when he saw his mother come near and reach a hand on him. He gave John an intense look, warning him to speak about the revelation which was clearly understood by the latter.
"Sherlock, are you okay?" she whispered, reaching hands all over his face.
"I'm fine—absolutely." He answered, not in the mood to be smothered, "and you, apparently."
He looked up at his father who nodded at him gravely and said, "The doctor has been most helpful."
"Where's Mycroft?" Mrs. Holmes said all of a sudden that got Sherlock eyeing her in surprise. Then John saved him the explanation.
"We were kind of told he was killed in a fire…"
"Where's your brother?" she insisted, looking very grave and about to faint, "Sherlock—"
"It's alright," Sherlock turned to the spot he saw Mycroft last, "He's just—"
It was empty.
Sherlock jerked his head around and nearly slid out of the ambulance's chair, left and right he saw no trace of his brother. Alarmed, he threw the blanket away and moved in haste—
"Sherlock!" his mother called but he was out of their midst in a few strides except for John who was at his heels. The consulting detective made his way through all the Scotland Yard officers, eyes around till it rested on Liverpool street—to the clock tower near White Hart where a black car was parked. Before it, as if walking in a parade in the middle of the road were two service men in their dark suits, escorting ahead of them was none other than Mycroft's familiar back.
Sherlock ran as fast as he could to reach them but John knew it was futile. It was then that he felt one of the mobile phone vibrating on his pocket. Pulling it out, he saw a text message on Sherlock's phone recently sent that read:
Don't look for me. I'll find you. Someday.
The car door was shut and the car disappeared.
And it was the last time Sherlock Holmes saw his brother for a long time.
a/n: Thank you for being with me in this ride! I never couldn't get enough of Mycroft and Sherlock!
Be it action, drama or suspense, even just a simple hint of brotherly affection and I'm melting.
It's probably because I believe, like in the canon books, Sherlock does care a lot for his older brother!
It stems from there, and roots that far tend to reach even the new version!
And it did as we saw the fourth installment of Sherlock!
I love Sherlock! Mycroft most!
They will forever be the characters that never lived but will never die!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
Mycroft did say 'someday' -.- i do hate when they separate.
Chapter 9: Epilogue
*Storm in a Teacup*
Worry not, my dears!
Of course, there shall always be this one ;)
Thanks for reading :)
John hadn't seen Sherlock in 221B Baker Street for the past year and a half since Mycroft's disappearance. He hadn't seen any of the Holmeses at all except that Christmas when Mr. and Mrs. Holmes came by to speak to him of their children. John had nothing to tell them except the inevitable truth: Mycroft was gone, and so was Sherlock.
221B remained empty on the following months after Sherlock never returned from his mysterious hunt; John had decided to abandon it later that year because of the constant appearance of their clients who had known the famous 221B from the doctor's own blogging and newspaper reports. But without Sherlock there was no way to solve cases. John tried to take over some that he thought he could manage only to come out with nothing in the end. Solutions were lost without his friend as it was right to say that Sherlock was lost without his brother. Mycroft's disappearance affected him greatly and though he tried to hide his distress on the first few days since the incident, it was clear to John Watson that the detective was at the end of his wits.
"Why would they keep him from returning?" John asked three days after Mycroft's disappearance. He could no longer contain the question he had been refraining to ask because of his best friend's unusual mood swings. Sherlock was scanning the newspaper clippings he had on his wall, wearing his complete dark suit he hadn't change for days, "I thought he could've made bargains or deals—he's Mycroft after all. They ought to listen, right?"
"He blew up his house, his club, his offices—planted bombs around like a real terrorist on top of slipping away from his own Secret Service—of course he's restrained." Sherlock didn't look up. "And Mycroft won't bother talking himself out of it."
The younger Holmes was quiet for a moment and John thought he was not going to give a proper reply when the consulting detective sighed heavily and turned to him with heavy eyes.
John gaped at him for too long. Sherlock shook his head and dropped himself on his available chair.
"My brother… he's a collector."
"Yeah, you've told me about it, about this." John pointed to the tea set on the table before him with a frown. He had distinctly heard Sherlock muttering every now and then about some teacups and vases during his search and had come to conclude he was referring to these. "You said Mycroft gave this to you when he last came here to tell you about the leakage of his file to your mother's computer. He got slapped." He shrugged when he saw Sherlock eyeing him transfixed.
"Meissen Porcelain: one of the most valuable tea sets in the world." The consulting detective muttered, reaching out a hand on one of the cup and caressing it so tenderly. "Mycroft's always been fond of things classical, always been a retrophiliac. I knew from experience he was probably loathed to give it to me as all collectors do, but why my brother brought a gift that day never eluded me, he was in a fix, he wanted me to help him."
"But a tea set as a gift?" John asked skeptically.
"It's everything to Mycroft." Sherlock looked amused. "And him offering it to me suggested the gravity of his situation. What more of the Half-Figured Service Set he brought on that dump house in Bishopsgate? The Half-Figured set is much much more valuable of all his collections and Mycroft bringing it to a place he planned to burn to the ground was unconventional of him."
"He did blow up his house. Maybe he saw no point in leaving it behind?" John remembered Sherlock telling him in details of the events in Bishopsgate, Eurus, his networks, the tea set and then the detonator in a briefcase. Mycroft certainly was not playing around. The thought, however, made him remember how Mycroft left him and his parents in the guest house filled with bombs. It didn't add to his sympathy back then.
"And break it in front of me just to see? No. This is Mycroft, he never does pointless things."
"Okay, just tell me." John said in a resigned tone, his head aching at the complexity of the older Holmes' brain. Sherlock's eyes glinted, his voice ever low.
John only ever gaped at the connection and his expression was clearly read as Sherlock went on—
"My brother told me our Uncle Rudi gave him the expensive set. Thereby making it an heirloom. This is only a conjecture base from what I know of Mycroft's intricate thinking, but I think he planned to break the Half Service set in front of me."
"You've never liked new literature, John. Mycroft's the capital meaning of a library new and old. He has enough hard drive to consume everything in the British Museum and unlike me he does not eliminate. Why he chose Meissen from all his collection, I only just found out… everything he did was an act of atonement. So, he must've been referring to the Atonement book of McEwan where a Meissen porcelain was mentioned given by a certain uncle. A Meissen vase that was broken. Said object was a catalyst in the book, it meant breaking of family bonds." Sherlock raised his eyes to his best friend and John saw how it clouded despite the lack of expression, "Mycroft planned to severe ties from the beginning he brought his teacups… as part of his own atonement for everything he's done. Tragic, isn't he?"
"He's got style." John offered with a shrug as the consulting detective smiled slightly but it went down almost automatically. John then remembered Sherlock hijacking Mycroft's movie theatre back in his house. The older Holmes had real penchant for anything classical then… till the very end. John lowered his eyes to the pieces of cups on his table with his mind blank.
"They're just teacups…" he whispered.
"Storms of teacups."
"You think he's okay?"
"Despite my mother's criticism, there's some truth to her words." Sherlock said so quietly as he put both his palms together, "My brother can take care of himself. To a degree even that when he's left alone, he forgets the world. Why do you think he cofounded the Diogenes? He loves being recluse."
"It's obvious he doesn't want to be found, Sherlock." John put this slowly for his friend to take, watching every inch of his reaction, "Can't we just wait for him to show himself again?"
"No." Sherlock fixed him a stare. "Mycroft is my balance, he plays a vital role. Without him there's too much risk of me running havoc. Let the older brother do his job."
John saw his best friend' expression and wished Mycroft would show the bloody hell up.
It was the last conversation John had with the detective as the next morning, just like his brother, he was gone. Months passed, then a year. No message, no phone calls—nothing at all and John couldn't blame him for it occurred to him what Sherlock had been pondering about: even if he was acquitted by the government Mycroft had no plan to return whatsoever, he didn't plan to be found either and when a Holmes did not want to be found then write it on stone that he shall never be. He hoped Sherlock would have the luck against his slippery brother.
When the Holmeses parents came around to visit on Christmas, John had nothing to give them except what Sherlock said last and this, above everything, seemed to finally pierce the unforgiving heart of Mrs. Holmes.
"That's hardly what I meant when I said fix everything."
"He's got a different idea about of it."
"Why wouldn't he want to be found? That is very unlike him." Mrs. Holmes was calm but her eyes would avert to John every now and then, "Who'll look after Sherlock here? And Eurus still in that institution… and the government… no wonder everything in Whitehall's been full of scandal and the sorts… no one can replace my son. He's the best man they have on that awful place."
John nodded and agreed silently.
"What about Sherlock?" Mr. Holmes asked quietly.
"He's doing his best." John replied, not mentioning how he's lost track of his flat mate for half a year now. And how Sherlock was driven, even if he won't admit it, by such determination equal to that of a desperate man.
He just hoped whatever best Sherlock was doing, he was not putting himself in danger because of it.
Then John had to press both his palms on his face because he knew then for a fact—Sherlock was doing the opposite.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense, otherwise known as Guardsman, had left his office late because of the recent disaster in the Parliament that made him decide he needed to consult with the main concerned authorities. His jet had been ready for an hour now and as he looked at his clock, he knew he'd be in close scrutiny for he was to come without prior notice.
If the disaster wasn't bad enough, he also had to hear about several incredulous rumors circulating in his own building. As if problems in the Parliament weren't enough from the threats of terrorists to the misunderstanding of the Cabinet members with the office of the Prime Minister, to the false rumors of the fall of monarchy! Not to add the external forces trying to blend in with the trouble plus civilians in strikes—the Government was in a catastrophe!
So, torn between trouble after trouble which should have been the PM's concern, he had to ignore the other rumors circulating around— rumors about a certain force assaulting members of the government's Secret Service. Guardsman nearly laughed it off for its irony. Who would dare attack members of the most reliable defense and intelligence of the state, he would like to know. Word has it that high ranking officers had been tracked down by a very dangerous group of dissidents during unexpected hours despite high security. Not only that, there's been additional rumors that a different group of terrorists was present in London and isolating certain low-ranking government officials, threatening and torturing them to give information about the secrets of the state. Certain measures were taken to protect the members of the government, even resorting to escorts per department but after a while the terrors stopped, only leaving questionable stories in the air.
As if questionable stories were meant to be given a damn to when the Queen wanted to know the state of the affairs with nuclear warfare that she so detests for it was nearly reaching the House of Commons. By the time Guardsman had left the building, everything about the isolated attacks had disappeared in his mind.
As he walked out of the office into the dark patio towards the parking area, he took his phone out. Five miscalls from his brother was registered and he remembered he had been invited to a family vacation. If only vacation was on his list of priorities this week. Sighing grumpily, he stopped beside his car and took his car keys next. His car keys together with his phone in one hand proved to be a difficult task and the metal keys fell on the ground. He bent down to pick it, straightened himself and was about to insert the key when he saw a silhouette just behind him—a looming tall figure that surprised him—
The next thing he was grabbed by the collar of his coat, his phone and keys falling on the ground again and was thrown forcefully with his back on the door of his car. The man pressed on him so, the grip of his hands too strong and violent.
Guardsman gritted his teeth. He waited for his assailant to speak and was surprised he wasn't even hiding his face except that the street light was behind him, conveniently cloaking his face.
"Who're you?" he demanded angrily, both hands on the man's fists. "What d'you want?"
"You know who I am. You know who I want." Came a low reply.
Guardsman narrowed his eyes and then dawning comprehension hit him. The name of the man was just forming in his lips when he was pulled again closer than they were almost nose to nose—
"Where's my brother?"
Guardsman sighed. They were warned this was coming. Sherlock apparently read his thoughts and immediately released him though, quite grudgingly. He staggered backwards a little and found his footing. With a glare, he stood straight till he was on eyeline of the delinquent, whose own eyes were glinting in the dark.
"I could have you arrested, you know!"
"You could, but they'll never catch me."
"So much for being the protector of the law-abiding citizens, you are. A detective gone rogue?"
The man smiled, his eyes flickering. "I never swore allegiance to any of you people— except one. Frankly, I wouldn't even be half as educated about laws and rights if it weren't for him and you took him away. What do you think would that make me?"
"A new set of criminal?" Guardsman was slowly reaching for his gun and noticed that it wasn't there. Sherlock raised the gun and kept it. Much contempt was seen in the Undersecretary's face.
"It's obvious you had a gun," Sherlock said, not removing his eyes from the man, "and you also had an automatic alarm set on your keys to notify authorities." He raised his right hand and Guardsman saw his keys there when he could've sworn it fell on the ground too, "I could be a criminal or so much more, I could bring this country to the ground as what I have done with all the torrent of problems I sent your way and now faced by the government—"
"I could also bring you down." The threat was sound as the gun's lock was turned, and Guardsman squared himself, expecting the gun to be pointed his way. It didn't. The two eyed each other for a few seconds till the government official spoke again.
"You're not making this any easier for your brother."
Sherlock's jaw visibly set, and the gun was raised and pointed. Guardsman stiffened.
"Where is he?" his voice turned colder every word. "If he's harmed in anyway—"
"Your brother is confined but I cannot tell you the location. Or I will lose my position as the Ministry of Defense's Undersecretary because I cannot even defend one single answer!"
His voice had gotten stronger. Sherlock's eyes narrowed.
"I don't care how you do your job, I want my brother's location now."
"You'll have to kill me for it."
At that, Sherlock Holmes smiled and thumped the butt of the gun on the man's temple and caught him as he sprawled, face down. The rogue detective made him sit on the ground and shook his head.
"He really knows who to trust with these things."
48 hours later, Sherlock Holmes returned to his flat in 221B for the first time in months. He had been there twice last year without John's knowledge for his best friend had decided to occupy his old dwelling place. Mrs. Hudson was not informed too and since nothing much was ever change, they thought he never came home.
Just now, he did, after a colossal defeat from his brother.
It had happened after his attack on the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense. Sherlock had been on the man's trail for the last three months. His first nine months of surveillance after realizing that no trace of Mycroft was to be found were spent on Lady Smallwood, Sir Edwin, the naval officers, the PM and nearly the Queen if not for his own discretion that Mycroft would never confide in her. The Guardsman as he was called, was the last person he knew would know of his brother's whereabouts and he knew he wasn't wrong. He hasn't been idle in gathering information from certain lower ranking officers that every five months, the Undersecretary would fly in his jet to meet his contact—a consultant of some sort, and return the next day with all the solution in the world. Sherlock pieced it together and concluded that this man's refuge may none other than his brother. Invigorated by the discovery, he even made a monthly field of sending problems after problems to the government to force them to contact their last resort.
Months later, Guardsman did, and all Sherlock needed to do was hijack the jet by pretending to be the Undersecretary complete with his identification and uniform. The jet flew North and landed on a curious looking site in Norway. A mansion at the edge of the Norwegian sea. Every trace of Mycroft was there recently—especially the lukewarm Norwegian tea— the moment Sherlock entered but after half an hour of searching he realized the unbelievable truth—the mansion was empty.
He spent a few more hours there till he finally decided to return to London. And this was how he entered 221B, dejected and empty handed and knowing it would take another half a year for another clue of Mycroft's to be followed. But then, at least one thing was certain in his first attempt of success—Mycroft was not a prisoner.
Opening the door to his living room, Sherlock's nostril was suddenly met by a strong aroma of a black currant tea. His eyes bulged, and he immediately raised a hand to where the switch of the light was—knowing full well he had just encountered the same aroma on one place he had been earlier. Black currant tea of Norway.
The light was turned on and there was Mycroft Holmes on the chair, in his three-piece suit without the tie. He didn't change much on the face, clean shaven as ever. His legs were crossed, and he was leaning heavily on Sherlock's favourite chair with a tea set in front of him. Just like the first time he saw his brother that morning bearing news of the cyberattack.
Sherlock stayed standing by the doorway, his dark eyes not leaving his brother's who had looked up at him with his ever sharp grey eyes. Mycroft indicated the chair John used to occupy.
"Won't you sit down?"
Sherlock glanced at the chair, and then back at his older brother, not saying a word. Mycroft took one look at his expression, raised eyebrows and nodded.
"You certainly took your time." Was the icy response.
"Yes, well, I think we missed each other's flight." He smiled but when Sherlock still did not respond, his smile disappeared. "I was notified of your apparent arrival on the airport and did my best to continue my legacy that if I don't want to be found then I won't be. I find you."
"That's the stupidest excuse I've heard." Sherlock finally said as he walked the short distance to the opposite chair and sat there, eyes on his brother. "Just because I was finally able to locate you."
"After you threatened half of the government officials, you mean."
Sherlock stared long at his older brother, his ears ever attentive.
"No longer your men?" he asked.
Mycroft smiled briefly once more. "I am already retired."
"Then why not return here and find lodgings then?" the younger Holmes demanded, his eyebrows beginning to form a line.
"Because I simply cannot." Mycroft leaned back on his chair and spoke in a matter of fact tone, "I am never a simple British citizen, Sherlock… I was this country. Every secret, every plan, down to the last memo all came and passed by my office. I told you before I was the central exchange of information of this government, right? I cannot be exposed to anyone, I am till now, still too indispensable."
Sherlock shook his head. "So, you're fine hiding yourself away just like that?"
"It was always meant to be like that." Mycroft reached a hand on his teacup and sipped quietly, "And it's always been to my liking. After my secret trial, I was found clear of charge, but I didn't want to return to service. After my scheme with the Fancy Bear affair, I felt I've exhausted my use of power, Sherlock. It isn't fair in the part of the law, so I called a quit. They wanted to enlist me in the protection program, but I refused. I know someday someone would come to flush me out—I daresay the Russian spies are only too keen to find me after I framed one of their members."
"Then the more reason you need to stay close in London." Sherlock straightened, his resolve increasing, "If I was able to find your location in a year—"
"One year and a half—" Mycroft corrected playfully.
"I highly doubt no one else could find you." Sherlock's eyes flickered, "I could protect you."
Sherlock gritted his teeth and bounced back on the chair. "If you think for one second I'll let anything happen to you—"
Mycroft raised a hand to stop him, a smile on his lips appearing again.
"This is so unlike you, Sherlock. Have you had enough of losing people in this way?"
"You are an idiot if you think—you're not disappearing again." Sherlock said firmly that probably had its desired effect for Mycroft's smile disappeared and if possible, a hint of emotion clouded his older brother's eyes. The younger Holmes decided to cling on that and pushed on, his memories of Mary Watson filling his eyes, "Stop acting like your fate is unstoppable, its always your cynical mind's fault. Just look clearly and see brother—just look. You're not alone We've always been inseparable in the past, don't think it's going to be different just because you're now waiting for the other shoe to drop. Am I really that irresponsible to you?"
"Well…" Mycroft regained composure but his eyes did not lose its light. "In answer to that—"
"Shut up." Sherlock rolled his eyes and gazed at his older brother again. "I've spent enough time looking for you, and now that you've found me I think we both can work something out. Minds like ours, brother dear, we can rule anything be it the underground or the government."
"Do not propose to me that you'd take on the underground too if I did?"
"Well said. Only, I'll drag you back to the surface. Like I always do."
"Sherlock Holmes, you are becoming impossibly attached."
"I've always been." Sherlock muttered quietly that surprised his brother to no end, "I just forgot because of circumstances with our sister. But I remember fragments, now Mycroft. I remember you were always there."
"That I am." Mycroft bowed.
"Then don't fault me for doing the same. I want to keep my brother safe. I lost you many times already." He remembered as if it was yesterday, of Mycroft's back walking away with two men. It was the most unforgiving memory he had next to Mary's. Mycroft was looking as if as if seeing him in a whole new light.
"Well… I can't say this was unexpected…" he cleared his throat and sat straight, "You've always been the stubborn one."
"And you the righteous one. But if you being righteous is going to be the reason that I lose my older brother—I'm sorry Mycroft, but to whatever world, you'll always find me opposing you."
It took some time for Mycroft to reply and when he did, his voice was much softer, his eyes hidden behind his right hand as he sighed in what sounded to be full of relief.
"Oh, do what you will."
Sherlock smiled for the first time in years.
"Take your teacups with you." He said abruptly and out of nowhere, "and keep them out of breaking point this time."
I shall now take my leave. I don't know when a next one would come up!
but Sherlock and Mycroft always will be our favorite!
Thanks for reading! ^_^