Title: Your Loss Would Break My Heart

Summary: "The Americans have a saying: three strikes, and you're out. But when it comes to my brother's well-being, I have a zero-tolerance policy." His Last Vow spoilers.

Rating: T

"My brother was facing his shooter, but he has failed to identify the individual. He is protecting someone, and I want to know who it is. Find him, or her. Begin with this list."

Two hours later, Anthea stepped back into his office. "Sir, we have determined the identity of the shooter," as she handed a document across the desk to Mycroft.

After scanning it, Mycroft looked up and addressed his personal assistant. "Bring her to the warehouse. Now. And take all proper cautions."

Mary was growing increasingly frustrated. She needed to find Sherlock now and determine whether he could be negotiated with or if she'd have to kill him. She was just trying to decide where to head next when a black car pulled up alongside her.

Shortly after Sherlock's return, Mary had been kidnapped by Mycroft Holmes. Having been warned about his tendencies, it wasn't unexpected. She'd been treated to a rather nice tea and a civilized conversation, though she'd certainly been able to tell that Mycroft was taking her full measure. John had been rather disgruntled by the fact that he never got kidnapped to tea at a top-notch establishment.

Since then, Mycroft had "kidnapped" her once a month for a similar treatment and to inquire after Sherlock. However, as Mary had recently done something that she definitely didn't want Mycroft to know about, the timing of this kidnapping put her on edge. The rear door opened, and Mary heard the woman she knew as Anthea say, "Mrs. Watson, would you please get in?" as a man in a suit stepped out of the front passenger seat as though he meant to escort her. Mary's warning bells went off.

"Into the vehicle, Mrs. Watson. And Carver will be taking your gun." A moment's hesitation and then two more men stepped out of the nearby shadows. Surrendering her gun, Mary stepped into the vehicle, and saw not only Anthea, but another man in a suit, most obviously armed. As they began to move, Mary was quite certain that she was not going to be enjoying tea and biscuits at her destination.

Arriving in a warehouse, much like the one John had described from his first kidnapping, Mary reluctantly slid out of the vehicle, wondering if she was going to just "disappear." There was no one waiting to meet her, however, and she turned back toward her escorts. "You are to take a seat in that chair and wait for Mr. Holmes."

Mary waited for almost two hours before Mycroft Holmes arrived in yet another black car. He stepped out, umbrella in hand. As he crossed over toward her, Mary began to rise. "Oh, please be seated, Mrs. Watson."

But Mary stood, not wanting to give him the advantage of towering over her. "Why am I here, Mycroft?"

"The Americans have a saying: three strikes, and you're out. But when it comes to my brother's well-being, I have a zero-tolerance policy." As Mary glanced around, Mycroft raised an eyebrow and said, "And don't think of trying anything foolish, as there are no fewer than 3 guns currently aimed at you."

"Guns?! What makes you think that I would do anything to harm your brother?" Mary enquired, affecting a bewildered air.

"Come now, Mrs. Watson. I am well aware that you are the one who shot my brother. And once I knew that, it was simple enough to find out your true identity."

"What do you plan to do?" Mary asked coolly, dropping her persona.

"If I were to pass on your location to certain individuals you made enemies of during your time as an assassin, you would be eliminated. But, I do not plan to do anything so harsh … unfortunately. John Watson is attached to you and will be distressed by your betrayal; however, he would be even more devastated by your brutal death at the hands of your adversaries, especially given that you are carrying his child."

"So, what do you plan to do?" she repeated.

"See that your husband is informed of the identity of his best friend's shooter. Send you to a safe house under careful custody until the birth of your child. And then you will leave the country, alone, never to return again."

"I won't let you take my child!" Mary insisted angrily.

"Madam, you do not have a choice. My primary objective is to secure my brother's safety. And you have demonstrated that you are quite willing to render him mortal harm—"

"I'm an excellent shot. He'd have been dead before I left the building if I had intended to kill him. I also rang—"

"Yes, I am now fully informed as to your weapons skill, and I am aware that you rang 999. However, I also know that my brother's heart stopped on the table, and the doctors thought him lost. It is only by a miracle that he is still with us. Furthermore, if you shot him once, there is no reason you would not be willing to do so again given the correct circumstances."

Mary desperately tried to think of some means of negotiating, some way to change Mycroft's mind. "I have nothing against Sherlock. I like him. Can't you understand? You who would obviously do almost anything for your brother? But, as long as Sherlock doesn't tell John—"

"No. As you say, I will do almost anything to keep my brother safe. You have demonstrated that you cannot be trusted around my brother, which means that you must be removed from any chance of encountering him. " After a pause, Mycroft continued, "You will lose John. You will not be allowed to keep your child. You will not be allowed to remain in this country alive. It is your choice whether that is because you are dead at the hands of your enemies or simply because you live elsewhere. Which do you choose?"

Mary took a deep breath as she closed her eyes. There must be something, anything. Mycroft spoke again, "Perhaps this would be a good time to allow your husband to speak to you," and he turned back toward the car he had arrived in.

With a look of dread, Mary watched the back door open and John Watson step out, very obviously furious. She saw in a moment that she had lost him already, just as she had already lost the negotiations. Mary turned back to Mycroft, threw back her shoulders, and raised her chin.

"I'll leave the country."