It Started To Rain
Chapter Ten: "Spoke With The Tongue Of Angels"
A/N: Wow, this took forever. I didn't even realize. I was scrolling through my stories and was like, "All right, I should really update—LAST UPDATED OCTOBER 2ND?!" So there's that. I'm going to finish this story, guys. If it takes me until I'm eighty, I'll do it. I just have to get through these hard bits first, then I know where it's going. My plans for this fic are absolutely evil i mean what
Happy whatever you celebrate, btw! I actually have a Christmas chapter planned next, and I wanted to get it up before the 25th, but my brain just wouldn't cooperate.
But hey, it'll be just like the actual Sherlock "Christmas" special and come late! (I'm trying to make myself feel better, work with me.)
Chapter title comes from "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2.
In the September after the summer spent in Sussex, their father started dating a woman, and apparently had been for a few months now. Her name was Mallory, and she was very young (twenty-six, according to Mycroft—Sherlock's guess had been twenty-five) and didn't have a motherly bone in her body. The whole idea of her made Sherlock cringe, especially at the thought that she was a ten-year-old girl when Mummy gave birth to Mycroft and a seventeen-year-old when Sherlock was born.
He wouldn't mind as much if they actually loved each other, but they didn't. Mummy didn't love him, either. But she at least loved Sherlock and Mycroft.
The boys suspected their father was going to marry her, for the sole purpose of not having to deal with his children alone, and she was going to accept because of the money and glamour involved. Either way, the house seemed drearier than ever, even with a young woman previously accustomed to only pretending to be of high-class flouncing around, enjoying all of the little trinkets of the house apart from the children. No, she didn't quite like the children. They were strange and quiet and seemed to hold resentment towards her, mostly because of their dead mother and how she was here to replace her.
Sherlock saw her as a wicked stepmother already, like the ones in story books, except his father was still very much alive and just as wicked. It was days like this when Sherlock missed his mum more than ever and just wanted to cry and never stop. But he didn't do that. Instead, he listened to Mycroft explain her life story and commended himself internally when he got an unvoiced suspicion correct.
But Sherlock would be lying if he said he wasn't worried Mycroft knew what Sherlock thought about her and was making up things to make it seem like he was getting everything correct. He might do that, because he knows Sherlock's in one of his fragile moods and doesn't want him to cry.
Right now, the boys are home for the weekend, and she is wearing a new dress with some big, tacky earrings Mummy would have hated. She loved her small pearl earrings, never those dangling gold things that weigh more than she does.
She looked at the boys with a nervous smile, not sure what to make of Sherlock still in his pajamas with his unkempt hair that hasn't been touched since he woke up (or since he came home from school on Friday, for that matter) and Mycroft looking like a twenty-year-old man with his hair gelled to perfection, even on a Saturday when he didn't have any plans. At first glance they seemed similar, but they weren't at all, and it was entirely too frustrating.
They were alike, but they were different. They fought daily, but at the end of the day Mycroft is like a parental figure for Sherlock. They liked a lot of the same things, but also made fun of each other for other things they liked. Mallory never knew what to say to them.
Mycroft ended up making breakfast for Sherlock, which consisted of two slices of toast with cream cheese on it because it's apparently the best way to eat it, according to Mycroft, and a cup of orange juice.
"I hate orange juice. It tastes like vomit," Sherlock said. He tested out the toast, and it wasn't bad per se, but he wouldn't suggest for Mycroft to become a chef anytime soon.
Mycroft merely rolled his eyes, drinking his breakfast, which was just a cup of coffee. "You could have done it yourself."
Sherlock shrugged, drinking it anyway and directing the subject towards Mycroft instead. "Are you forgetting what happened last week? Where's your breakfast?"
"What happened last week?" Mallory inserted herself into the conversation, looking cautiously between the two boys as if asking them if she really wanted to know. With them, it could be anything. Even with Mycroft, who seemed like a good boy and actually was to a certain extent, but he was just as weird as his brother, only with less mischief. She often found herself wondering what he was like as a child, if he was like Sherlock and if Sherlock would become like him in time.
"Mycroft fainted during an English lesson."
Just as Mallory opened her mouth to say something that would match the alarm on her face, Mycroft cut in with a, "He's exaggerating. I got light-headed and had to lie down for a while."
Either Mycroft was understating everything back down so it wasn't made into a big deal or Sherlock's memory was fuzzy about the whole incident. He may have very well thought it to be of greater proportions what with how scared he'd been. He'd play it off as slight concern if anyone were to ask him after it happened, but when it was happening, he had two women who worked somewhere in the school coo over him and rub his shoulder and try to comfort him. Kindness from adults to Sherlock must have meant he looked to be panicking.
"Well, why aren't you eating?" she asked like she was dealing with two five-year-olds arguing over something petty while she had a headache.
"I am eating," Mycroft said, defensively. "I'm just eating less. I'm on a diet."
She stifled a sigh and pushed back an orange strand of hair behind her ear. She almost looks like she could be Mycroft's mother, with the bit of freckles and red hair and blue eyes, but the way they act around each other screams otherwise. Even if Sherlock hadn't been working on his deductive skills, he could have seen that much if he weren't related to them. John would be able to see it. John. Sherlock needs to go see him. They've just been seeing each other less and less because of stupid boarding school.
"Why are you on a diet?" she asked, totally uninterested.
Mycroft looks down and looks back up at her with a frown, clearly not wanting to say it out loud. It was fairly obvious why; she shouldn't bring it up like that. Mummy wouldn't have. She would have heard that he was on a diet and never mention it, but support him in little ways, like bringing up in a subtle way an opportunity for him to get some exercise without embarrassing him.
This time she doesn't hold back a sigh when he doesn't answer and borderline glowers at him. Sherlock gets the feeling she really, really doesn't like Mycroft, even more than she dislikes Sherlock (and that never happens), but the feeling is mutual, Sherlock has learned from listening to enough tirades about what a despicable person she is from Mycroft, so it's fine that she doesn't like him.
He wants to see them have an all-out argument, honestly. Not just the wordless pantomime of hatred they exchange with glares. It'd actually be fun to watch.
"What are you doing today, Sherlock?" she asked him, a wide smile set on her face. He guesses she must have higher hopes for him, that he'll be kinder than the hormonal, moody teenager over there. Sorry, Mallory.
He peers at her from the rim of the cup. "I'm going to my friend's house, and I might be staying the night, if his drug dealing neighbor doesn't try and kill me first."
Her face falls a bit. "Oh. And you'll be going alone?" she asked, glancing at Mycroft to tell him to go with him.
"I'm staying the night at a friend's house, too," Mycroft said over his coffee. He does that, like, every weekend, and yet he still claims to have no friends, so needless to say, Sherlock is both suspicious and curious, and he thinks Mallory is picking up on it, too.
"Which friend?" she asked.
"My friend, John Watson. He's very kind. Not as smart as me, but he's still probably smarter than most of the adults in his family," Sherlock interjected.
"And you, Mycroft?" she asked after regarding Sherlock's answer with a small frown. He's pretty sure the question was intended for Mycroft the entire time.
"Well, he doesn't have a drug dealing neighbor," he replied, the and that's all that should matter implied.
"Mm. At least there's that." And that's where she leaves it. Sherlock will have to prod at it later.
He's pretty sure Liam's out of the picture, so it can't be him (though they still remained off and on that entire summer, even after their supposed breakup). There's one gay guy at school who Sherlock's aware of, but he's not accepted it yet because of his homophobic family, so there's not a big chance it's him. It must be someone new, then. Or Mycroft could actually have a friend, but Sherlock knows that's not the case.
When Sherlock finished his breakfast, he hopped down from his chair and scrambled for his coat because quite frankly, he wanted out of there and to go see John for the first time since last week, which they only got to see each other for a few minutes. Mycroft appeared behind Sherlock with his coat in his hands as Sherlock was trying to find it. He wordlessly took it from him and put it on, and he headed for the door.
They walked for a few seconds silently, the scenery dull and unchanged as ever, until Sherlock finally said, "Do you have a new boyfriend?"
"I do," he answered without hesitation. Sherlock was fine with Mycroft being gay, so he'll talk about it with him immediately after it's brought up. Sherlock figured he's the only person Mycroft can talk to about it, so he'll sit and listen to his teen angst that sounds uncharacteristic and kind of funny on Mycroft for as long as he needs him to.
"He's not another Liam Absher, is he?"
Mycroft mused for a second. "Define what the requirements to be a Liam Absher are."
Okay, good, so it was confirmed that it wasn't him.
"Stupid, hormone-driven teenage boy who likes to cheat on his boyfriends," he listed off.
"Accurate," he laughed, then mused once again about this mystery boy. "Well, he's certainly not stupid, he's 100% monogamous, and he's not hormone-driven." His voice then drops to a mumble. "And he isn't a teenager."
Sherlock looked up at him with wide eyes. "How old is he?"
"He's only twenty-five," Mycroft said, defensive.
All Sherlock could do was blink at him. Where do you even find a gay, supposedly intelligent and loyal, twenty-five-year-old man when you're someone like Mycroft? He is one of those people who will likely never find "the one" until they're graduated from university and working because they're too grown-up for their age, but still. How does that even happen?
"What's his name?" Sherlock asked.
Sherlock nearly scoffs at his pretentious name, but then he remembered that someone named their kids Sherlock and Mycroft and shuts up. "Is that . . . Italian?" He stretches out his guess because he actually has no idea; he's just hoping he gets lucky with it.
"Greek," Mycroft corrects. "His parents are from Athens."
They reached where they go separate ways, and Sherlock said as they parted, "Have fun with your twenty-five-year-old . . ."
"Have fun with your eleven-year-old," Mycroft added sarcastically. It didn't matter that John was two years older than Sherlock, though. It's not like they're dating.
Sherlock sighed. "My brother's dating a man a year younger than my father's new girlfriend." He fell back on John's couch and took up nearly the whole thing with his long legs stretched across it, stopping exactly where John was sitting, a perfect fit.
"Hmm," John said. "Not sure if you're saying that your brother is dating someone really old, or if your dad is dating someone really young."
"Both," Sherlock whined. "I think they're going to get married."
"Who is?" John's hand found its way to rest on Sherlock's ankle, watching whatever he has on the television partially and listening to Sherlock at the same time.
"You don't sound very happy about it," John stated, and no, Sherlock was not happy about it, for many good reasons.
Sherlock sighed and flexed his feet up and down, focusing on his shoes and the wet leaves that had attached themselves to it and wouldn't accept that they were unwanted and kept clinging onto him. "Well, they don't actually love each other. It will only be fighting and shouting and bad moods from here on out."
John's voice got very quiet, and it was almost as if he'd muted the telly, as well. "Are you upset about it because of your mummy, too?" He sounded afraid to ask, like it would be the wrong thing to say.
Sherlock sat up and moved beside John. They were the same height now, much to John's embarrassment. He complains a lot about how he's shorter than most of the boys his age and some of the girls. Sherlock always hopes when he finds out he's grown an inch or two that John has done the same, but he'll probably end up shorter than Sherlock.
He stared at the remains of the biscuits John's mother had given them a few minutes ago and thought hard about the question he'd been trying to keep in his subconscious. "In a way," he said, just as quiet.
John sighed, clearly thinking he doesn't know what to say, but John always knows what to say, even when he thinks he doesn't. "Is your dad's new girlfriend mean?"
Another tough question. It depended on how you looked at it. She didn't hit them or raise her voice, but she wasn't very kind, either. Sherlock explained that to the best of his abilities, stopping and getting frustrated at parts he couldn't describe well enough, but John was hanging onto every word and looked like he was understanding what he was trying to say.
"So she's not like your mummy and she doesn't like you or your brother?"
"Basically. She doesn't much care for my father, either."
John leans back against the couch. "Adults are weird. They get married to people they don't even love."
"I'm just going to live with a person I know I will get along with," Sherlock said. Would they be married? He doesn't know. If they love each other, surely they'd get married, but someone who would be nice to him would suffice.
John snorted at the mere idea of someone not ever having an argument with Sherlock. Most of them were initiated by him anyway. In fact, if you put two Sherlocks in a room together, they would do nothing but argue.
"How are you going to go about that?"
Sherlock stretched his legs out on the couch again, but this time in such a way that he finds his head perched in John's lap.
"Easy. I'm just going to marry you."
John chuckles softly, and Sherlock almost gets scared, as he can't see what's funny about this idea; it's a perfectly reasonable idea that only makes sense. But then John pets his hair and bounces his knee lightly with Sherlock still on it as he nearly falls asleep on him, and they are content together like that.