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“Again, Sherlock? This is becoming another of your dreadful habits.”

“Can’t I phone to wish my own brother a merry Christmas? Since I know you’re spending it alone. As always.”

“Shouldn’t you be at Christmas drinks with the Watsons? Wearing hats, opening presents, playing happy families?”

“I was… invited.”

“I see. Well, lovely chatting, but don’t let me keep you from rearranging your glassware, or whatever delightful alternatives you had planned. Or should I be concerned?”

“No, but perhaps I should be. For a change.”

“Whatever do you mean?”

“I know how much you hate getting involved, Mycroft - lurking in the shadows is more your style. But these past few years you’ve rather been dragged back into the spotlight, haven’t you? With everything you’ve done for my sake. And John’s. It means… you’re a target now. If someone comes after me, they know they’ll have to deal with you. It wasn’t like that before.”

“I'm entirely capable of taking care of myself. It’s you who insists on perpetually throwing yourself in harm’s way.”

“But remember that terrible wind you once warned me about? It's rising. I can feel it. And you know how it would inconvenience me to lose the benefit of your connections. So... you'd best wrap up warm.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Sherlock, I assure you. Let it blow.”