Adrenalin rushed in his veins. The ambulance was just a few more minutes away. John was helping him stem the bleeding. His hands were covered in blood. His brother's blood.
As the medics rushed, Sherlock pushed his way through them and got into the ambulance.
"I'll be right behind you."
John promised as the ambulance took off. His eyes followed the movements of the medical team. He didn't dare touch Mycroft.
It hasn't sunk in yet. His brother was cutting. He was hurting himself and Sherlock didn't notice. How can he not notice?
His mind processed their past interactions and found no clue regarding the issue. The only time there was a clue was when John asked about the scars that he was too arrogant to really pay attention. He wrote it off as a sloppy assignment Mycroft performed and now his brother might-
He gasped as the medics yelled. There was a shrilling monotonous beep echoing in the ambulance. His brother was flat-lining.
"Mycroft." he breathed. He was stuck on his position as the medics prepared their equipments.
He couldn't think straight.
His mind shut off, denying this was happening. He didn't notice his hand grabbing his brother's. He probably yelled, cursed and hissed.
A few minutes later, they arrived and Mycroft was wheeled away. He was stuck in the waiting room till then.
John arrived and sat next to him. Neither talked nor moved from their position.
His hands had dried blood on them and his shirt was forever stained by the crimson liquid. He made a note to burn the shirt later.
He was hardly one to talk about self-destructive habits. He understood the crushing loneliness one felt in their teenaged years. The frustration everyone was prone to. But this was Mycroft.
The omniscient, all-powerful, invincible older brother that wasn't supposed to have all these problems.
He was supposed to be perfect, arrogant, righteous Mycroft who lectures Sherlock every time he gets himself in trouble.
"It's not your fault, you know. All this- no one saw it coming." John said. Sherlock didn't respond.
'How would you know? You don't know Mycroft like I do, John. I should have noticed. Perhaps it was the pressure at work, guilt, but whatever it was, I missed it. I! I wasn't supposed to miss it.' Sherlock wanted to scream the words but he was too much in shock.
The doctor went out and Sherlock all but jumped up and rushed towards the man. He didn't pay attention to what the doctor said and went into the room. John stayed out to chat with the doctor; he was going to inform Sherlock of the damage later.
"You are such an idiot." He declared before he entered the room, he froze at the sight. His brother was pale, the stark-white sheets making him paler than he actually is. He's having a transfusion, at least three doctors were- it wasn't time for deductions. He sat down and bit his lip.
Maybe this was what Mycroft felt when he found Sherlock, over-dosed on cocaine, in a hospital. He bit his lip harder as he remembered how Mycroft clenched his umbrella so hard, Sherlock thought it would snap. He wanted something to break right now.
He gazed at his brother and his thoughts raced once again. He saw the scars criss-crossing his brother's arm, saw some poking out of his bare chest below the blankets. If he was poetic he might have said that he saw the depression in Mycroft's whole body. Looking at his brother now, he wondered yet again how he missed something as vital as this.
Why did Mycroft do it?
That was the million-dollar question.
He went to his mind-palace and re-evaluated the conversations they had again. As he happened upon one of the most recent ones, he gasped. Mycroft's last memory of him could may have well be the time he said he hated his brother. The time where he also said that he would rather Moriarty-No!
How could he be so careless? He wasn't paying attention to his words back then.
His voice cracked. He gulped, trying to preserve some dignity.
"I'm sorry for the things I said before. I don't hate you-" he choked on his words and he fought to maintain his calm facade. How could he think such a thought?
"I'm so sorry Mye. I didn't mean all those things. Please tell me it's not too late." a tear escaped and he wiped it away quickly.
He took his brother's hand and stroked it with his thumb before bringing it to his lips.
"Oh Sherlock. What have you done?" Mycroft breathed as he stared at his brother standing before a shattered glass-figurine. A wedding present, Mycroft deduced. Cheap, probably sent by a cousin.
"Mycroft! Please help me! I didn't mean to break it, I swear!"
Mycroft inspected the shards and deemed them to be unfixable."Go grab some newspapers." he ordered his brother before kneeling down.
His brother returned and he picked the shards up and placed them at the newspaper. Sherlock tried to grab some but he swatted his hands away. The younger boy was persistent and grabbed a large shard. Mycroft tried to grab it away but Sherlock pulled. The younger Holmes was lucky to be grabbing the dull part of the shard. The elder was not as fortunate. Mycroft made the mistake of grabbing the edge and as Mycroft pulled, his palm was cut.
He hissed as blood begun to drip from his palm.
"Oh no." Sherlock said as he stared with horror at his brother's bloody hand. "I'm so sorry Mye."
"Sherlock-Sherlock look at me. It's alright." Mycroft tried to calm his brother. He was not a fan of blood, especially his own, and if he was being honest with himself, he would say that he was starting to panic. He really needs to get rid of his hemophobia.
"Do you need me to tell mummy?"
After a quick trip to the doctor, he received five stitches and a tongue-lashing for picking up broken glass. Not to mention playing inside the house. He took the blame for the broken figurine-his parents didn't like it that well and he thought it was hideous anyway- no need to give Sherlock the blame.
That night, Sherlock came to his room and apologized again, Mycroft shifted to the left and Sherlock climbed into the bed with him. His brother's heartbeat calming him.
"Wake up, Mye. Please don't leave me."
Sherlock said as more tears flowed.
He heard something. He gasped as he pushed the button to alert the doctors.
His brother was grunting in pain. Sherlock was sure that means he might wake up soon. He was ushered out and he found himself waiting with John once again.
There was a brief pause.
"The doctor told me that he was doing this for years now. They told me about the scars."
"You know that it's okay that you didn't notice, right?"
"My brother nearly died because I missed something."
"What is it with you Holmeses? You aren't omniscient. Not everything can be 'deduced', you know!"
Sherlock paced around as John rolled his eyes at his flat-mate. He knows Sherlock won't show any emotion akin to concern but he knows he cares for his brother, his presence alone spoke volumes.
He hadn't fully forgiven Mycroft for selling his brother but he didn't hate the man. He rescued Sherlock after all and, even if he denied it, John knew that he maintained his surveillance to make sure John was alright after Sherlock's 'death'.
The doctor came out again. "He'll be awake for a few minutes before the drugs kick in. Do not stress my patient."
Sherlock ignored him again as John nodded.
"You are such an idiot, Mycroft!"
John looked at the elder Holmes brother. He was still pale but after fifteen hours and nearly dying, he deemed it 'normal'. He was lying on his back with an oxygen mask and confusion in his eyes.
"Cutting yourself? Really?" John sat down. This was going to be a long day.
"Why were you even doing it? Apparently you've been doing it for years now. And you have the gall to lecture me about the drugs? You hypocrite."
"Sherlock. He just woke up. Calm down, mate."
"What?" his hazy mind could not work it what was happening.
Mycroft stared at the interaction and tried to piece the pieces together. He was losing consciousness and he knew it.
"It's alright Mycroft. We'll be here when you wake up."
The last thing he feels is a hand brushing his hair.
John went home to rest and grab some clothes for the both of them. Sherlock stayed at his brother's side. His friend said something about Mycroft being stable but he didn't bother listening. It was just after midnight and his fingers are scratching for his violin. He is also itching for something more self-destructive but he didn't want to indulge it while his brother was in here.
He never saw Mycroft confined to a hospital before. There were brief moments where his brother would need to have stitches or check-ups but that was it. They have a high immune system so no illness stopped them from doing what they do best before. His brother could have died.
Sherlock shook his head, stopping the train of thought. He doesn't want to see his brother like this ever again. Pale, weak and vulnerable. The look was unbecoming of a Holmes, especially Mycroft. He studied his brother's feature again and tried to find clues why he would cut.
Was it because of stress, he didn't delude himself and believed Mycroft's lies. He knows how stressful life can be for Mycroft; every decision must be calculated quickly and accurately.
He ruled out insecurities hours ago. Mycroft is not some teenaged girl who had problems with weight. Despite his occasional jibes, it wasn't something Mycroft would take to heart.
A broken heart? Nonsense, Mycroft doesn't have one.
Sherlock scoffed at the thought.
Perhaps about him? Did he still feel guilty about the fall?
'Why would he still feel guilty? It was ages ago and I forgave him.'
The detective ruffled his curls and put his hands under his chin.
They needed to have a long, brotherly talk. Oh joy.
"It's been five days John! Why isn't he awake yet?"
Sherlock groaned as he paced the small hospital room as his friend sat in a chair, reading the morning paper.
"Give it time, Sherlock. These things take time."
"This is so-Mycroft to make me wait. I bet he's enjoying this."
John rolled his eyes at his flat-mate. They've had this conversation everyday for the past five days and his patience is running thin. He wanted to shake Mycroft awake just to shut Sherlock up.
As if reading his thoughts, the older Holmes brother groaned before opening his eyes.
He called for a doctor immediately.
"You are such an idiot."
Sherlock stood at the foot of the bed with his arms crossed across his chest. John sat at a chair by the wall and Mycroft sat on the bed, leaning on the pillows on his back. John knew Sherlock had been working on his 'upset little brother speech' and that Mycroft would get quite the tongue-lashing.
"You dare lecture me about my 'habits'" Mycroft avoided his eye. "Then you go cut yourself. You are a hypocrite, brother dear."
"I'm sorry." he could think of nothing else to say. His brother was correct; he even had the gall to copy Mycroft's posture and position years ago when Sherlock woke up from his over-dose.
"'I'm sorry'? Well, I guess that's that. I have cases to solve and all that but wait, I do have a question." Mycroft sighed at the mocking tone. "Why the hell did you do it?"
"Why did you do drugs?"
Sherlock was not expecting the question and he blinked.
"Because it shut off my mind. It gave me peace and quiet." he murmured.
They knew the real reason though neither acknowledged it.
"Why do other-normal- people do it?"
"Insecurities? Control? Knowing you, the problem would have an easy sol-"
"Don't be an idiot, Sherlock." Mycroft scoffed as he rubbed his head. John raised an eyebrow in amusement as Sherlock sputtered.
"Just tell me why." the younger demanded.
"Why? So you could race off to somewhere and yell at whoever causes me problems? Perhaps you'd send me some cake to make me feel better. I am fine."
"You nearly died!"
"What a shame. I'll do it more thoroughly next time."
John sighed at the childish behavior. If this was in another circumstance, he'd be laughing his ass off. But now, he had a suicidal government official and a murderous detective in one room.
"Girls, come on. Calm down." he stood up and approached the bed.
"Now, why don't you tell us why you tried to kill yourself?"
"I didn't try to kill myself. It was a miscalculation on my part. Everything will be fine as soon as I get away from this infernal place." emotionless and precise. Mycroft Holmes all the way.
"Bullshit." he rubbed his eyes. Damn these Holmes and their stubbornness.
Sherlock couldn't take it anymore. His brother was acting like nothing was wrong and he just knows that after he gets out, he'll start cutting again. He growled and made a lunge for his brother.
Mycroft flinched away from him. Reflexes honed from years of experience where those hands lunging for his shoulders may have been aimed for his throat. His arms tensed and his reflexes almost performed a counter but he caught himself. This was his brother, not some enemy trying to kill him. A small part of his brain only believed one of the two facts right now.
"Sherlock!" John yelled.
Sherlock grabbed his shoulders, tightened his grip on them so Mycroft couldn't get away. As if he could.
"Why did you do it?"
He stared at his brother's bright blue eyes filled with anger, fear, confusion and hurt. Why would he be hurt?
He looked away. His brother shook him-a little pain in the chest, manageable- and he hissed. He looked in his eyes again. "I'm fine."
The immortal words that got him out of trouble and helped him avoid confrontations marked his doom. "That was not the question."
"Sherlock, relax. Mycroft is still recovering and you shaking him senseless might do more harm than good."
"John, please leave. Stay outside and unless we call, do not let anyone in. This is a personal matter." Sherlock said in a cold tone. John wanted to fight; he wanted what was best for the patient but one look at Mycroft made him sigh.
"Keep things quiet, alright? Do not harass your brother! Both of you!"
The door was shut and Mycroft felt relief and fear in equal measure.
His brother let him go and he slumped back on the pillows.
"Mycroft, please." Sherlock never said please to him, he looked up and saw his brother pacing. "Just tell me why."
"Why would you care?" It sounded harsh, accusing even, but it was an innocent question. Sherlock stopped pacing and gazed at his brother.
"What do you- Mycroft as much as a pain the arse you are, you are my brother! You are the only one capable of understanding how my brain works. Y-"
Mycroft scoffed. He was saved solely so he could continue his role as an all-knowing elder brother, always prepared to help his sibling but always hated as well. Who wouldn't want to live with such a purpose?
"Sherlock, call me selfish, call me arrogant, call me an ungrateful son of a bitch," Sherlock winced, his brother rarely cursed. "I hardly understand how you work. If I did then you wouldn't have to deal with your years as a junkie. It may be true that I may be the one closest to understanding you but-" he stopped. He shouldn't do this.
Sherlock studied his brother.
"Is that it then? Guilt? Mycroft those days were hardly y-"
Mycroft screamed at him. In the first time in years, Sherlock saw emotions dance in his brother's steel blue eyes. The look alone made him want to hide.
"Don't you see, Sherlock? Not everything revolves around you. I do have a pathetic excuse of a life outside of you. It's true that I worry about you constantly and-"
Mycroft took a deep breath. He lowered his head and looked at his clenched fists.
"You once said during your days as a druggie that you took them to shut off your mind. You said you wanted to stop the flow of information assaulting your head. It made you forget all the insults and taunts, made you forget the pain."
Sherlock stared at his brother. Did he really confess that?
"You have no idea, Sherlock, why I did this. Moriarty called the iceman. How I wish that were the case."
"Mycroft." He approached his brother cautiously, as if he was approaching a wounded animal.
"I can never delete information like you. I remember things clearly and- I always remember the faces of the men I sent to die. I can remember the look on a colleague's eyes as he died. I can remember every insult I received, every life I took." Mycroft choked out.
"I remember the mistakes I made. I remember how my mistakes forced my baby brother to fake his suicide and cause a rift with his friend. I suppose you would know what it feels to be scorned, but you have no idea how much guilt I face every night."
"Brother, calm down." Sherlock was deciding whether to touch his brother or not.
Mycroft gave a humorless laugh.
"I often wondered why people assume that I am more human than you. I who fake emotions and make false friendships for the sake of the country. Apparently I had the entire world fooled, even you brother-mine, but I could never fool myself."
He chuckled again at the absurdity of it all. Perfect Mycroft with the stiff-upper lip, the perfect model for a minor official of the British government and his so-called perfect life.
He chuckled harder as tears fell from his eyes. He swallowed thickly as he was enveloped in his brother's arms.
"It's alright, Mycroft. Everything will be fine."
Mycroft was frozen as tears continued to stream down his cheeks. The last time his brother hugged him voluntarily were the day he left for uni.
"Do you know what hurts the most, Sherlock?" he mumbled on his brother's shoulder.
"I remember most of our childhood together."
It was Sherlock's turn to freeze. He was confused for a second then it dawned on him.
Mycroft can remember the little brother who adored and idolized him. Every time Sherlock hurled insults and curses towards his brother, Mycroft could only see the little brother who used to love him, scorn him.
He must have thought himself as a failure. One of the things his brother hated in the world was failure.
"I'm sorry, Sherlock. For everything."
Sherlock felt his brother loop his arms on Sherlock. He had a squeezing feeling in his chest and he wanted to throw up. His strong big brother was reduced to a suicidal, depressed man due to all the burden in his shoulders.
"It's alright, Mycroft."
"No it's not."
"Yes, it is."
Mycroft removed his arms and Sherlock pulled away. The detective can see the wheels turning in his brother's mind.
"Really, Mycroft? Insulting one's self is unbecoming of a Holmes." Sherlock teased. Mycroft's lips turned up just for a fraction.