This is a fruit of me realizing there are no fics with de-aging Mycroft; and that Mycroft has too much responsiblity on his shoulders.

There is also my OC that normally plays the role of sidekick, but I thought that he's perfect for the role he plays here.

Please, leave a comment!

Mycroft Holmes deserves a break

Sometimes Mycroft felt a little bit overwhelmed.

Scratch that. He felt immensely overwhelmed. But who wouldn't, giving all the responsibilities that was falling on him? He had a country to run and the world always seemed to be either falling apart or on fire. Mycroft had to take care of various tiny factors, have an eye on Britain's allies and enemies, notice little signs of danger before it would threaten the United Kingdom. His work was necessary to England's survival and nobody else could do it, but him.

But he also had to look after Sherlock. Granted, one would think that since his little brother had friends (from John Watson to Lestrade), who were caring for his wellbeing, Mycroft would have less work, but sometimes even with them Sherlock was getting into trouble, and more often than not, his friends were getting into trouble with him. And subsequently Mycroft felt obliged to put them under his protection too.

Then there were his parents. Quite a nice couple, really. And one should always respect their parents, especially in their elderly years. Mycroft wanted to please them, which sometimes proved to be a hard task.

Especially after their last argument…

You should have done better.

Mycroft pushed the unwanted memory away and focused on the work. However, at times like these, when he was alone in his office, his mind was filling the silence of the room with unpleasant thoughts. And after latest events with Eurus, he had a lot to think about.

Oh, yeah, Eurus. She was a lot of responsibility too. Mycroft was responsible for her safety and the safety of people she could threaten; for her being well fed and for the staff to not interact with her more than it was necessary; for her having access to medication and for her not being able to pull her sick games on anybody else. More often than not he was worried that it wasn't enough; that she will eventually find a way to manipulate someone into getting her out. It was stressful enough, knowing that he let Moriarty talk with her for five unsupervised minutes. He should have known that it will end badly… but at the time it seemed like a risk worth taking.

It's been about four weeks since his sister killed five people, toying with Sherlock's feelings. Four weeks since she almost drowned doctor Watson in a well and almost made one of her brothers kill the other. Four weeks since their parents learned the truth and confronted their oldest son about the lie he told them. These events were playing in his head as Mycroft tried to come back to his usual duties; to act like everything was back to normal. After all, Baker Street has been renovated and his little brother was doing his detective work again, so why Mycroft shouldn't be taking care of United Kingdom as he was always doing?

But who would be able to successfully come back to his routine after psychological torture? Mycroft had seen a lot in his work in Secret Service. He had time to learn all about the dark parts of humanity. He failed many times and his failures caused deaths of millions. He met countless ruthless individuals who were playing their little mind games on him, when he was making them talk. He survived Moriarty and Magnussen. He thought that he was stronger, cleverer than this. His little sister proved him wrong.

Maybe people around him weren't goldfishes after all. Sherlock was phoning to him many times, asking if he was alright; and sending Lestrade to check on him, like he had a cold or something. Sometimes detective inspector was trying to have small talk with Mycroft to make him relax a little or maybe just know his friend's brother a bit better. Mycroft, however, was always saying he's busy and then he was ordering Anthea to politely escort his guest out. Even Lady Alicia Smallwood was coming to his office and asking if he would like to have a break or go somewhere after the working hours.

It would be quite touching, really, this sudden outburst of care for his sanity, if it wasn't also annoying. He wasn't some frail man. He was the British Government, the Iceman, as Moriarty supposed to call him behind his back. He was always good with managing his emotions.

And yet, in last four weeks he felt tired and overwhelmed. Some part of him thought that a little vacation would be good. Still, he had a brother to take care of, a sister to look over, parents to please and a country to run. Too much responsibility to lend to others. There were things that only Mycroft Holmes could do.

Little did Mycroft know that he was observed. His observer remained invisible to other people due to his small body and otherworldly nature, as he was sitting on the nearest roof and looking at the window in his target's office.

His name was Herbert. He was a cherub. As every respectable cherub he had round face, big, blue eyes and light curly hair. His small wings stayed hidden under his woolen jacket. He seemed innocent and as angel-like as most cherubs in human form could be. But although he was on the side of the angels, Herbert was always considered kind of crazy. And impulsive.

Some angels liked certain humans, almost as much as humans liked fictional characters – they liked to watch them interact with others, struggle with their flaws and troubles, and stand up to challenge at hand. These angels were secretly cheering at said humans' victories, mourning their failures, sometimes even overlooking their faults and focusing on their strengths. And as much as they liked for their humans to be happy, the rules of Heaven were clear about intervening into someone's life – only little changes here and there; allow humans to have a choice.

Then again, Herbert was never much of a law-abiding cherub.

He liked Mycroft Holmes for various reasons. First, the man was doing everything with a style! Who wouldn't admit it, seeing him in this three-piece suit and with a brolly? This man was making tremendous first impressions. Secondly, he was awesome! With his deduction skills, his sword hidden in umbrella, his witty banters with Sherlock, his composure and all around cleverness (watching him was like watching a slightly more sophisticated James Bond). But most of all, Herbert liked the man for acting like he didn't care at all, while in fact caring dearly, especially for his family (well, Herbert was always sucker for brotherly feels). The cherub learned a lot about Mycroft Holmes over past few years and instantly became a fan.

Herbert knew his target will spent this night in his office. He had a plan. A bit risky, but worth a try. Once the cherub was certain that Mycroft fell asleep on his armchair and Anthea left him alone, he materialized inside the office and carefully tiptoed to the slumbering man.

"Sleep well." He said. "Tomorrow, the playtime will start."

At eight in the morning Anthea expected to see her boss already working. It didn't matter where Mycroft Holmes has been sleeping last night (in his house or in his office), he was always on time. Now and then Anthea was worried about him. After all, he had a really stressful job that sometimes required things one person was incapable of doing. Yet, somehow mister Holmes was able to do miracles and keeping an eye on almost everything concerning Great Britain. He also was very disciplined. Always neat, calm and punctual. A walking professionalism.

So Anthea expected him to sit at the desk with opened laptop or talking through the phone with prime minister, or doing some other very important thing.

She didn't expect to see a five year old boy, sleeping in her boss' armchair, wearing oversized suit she could swear she saw on mister Holmes last night. The boy had dark, short hair and chubby face. The more Anthea was observing this chubby face, the more she couldn't help the feeling that there's something familiar about it…

Sure, she witnessed weird things in her career, but this seemed downright ridiculous. Where was mister Holmes and who was this kid? And why was he in mister Holmes' clothes?

Anthea decided to look for the answers on her own. First she entered the office, tiptoed to the boy, kneeled before him and gently woke him up. After short moment he opened his light blue eyes which again, seemed oddly familiar to Anthea. He was also very cute so the smile the assistant gave him was a genuine.

She was going to say something friendly, but the boy suddenly noticed the oversized suit he was wearing and that fact clearly confused him. For a next few seconds he was examining long sleeves and even tried to free his hand from three layers of clothing (the suit, the waistcoat and the sweatshirt), before finally giving up. Only then he looked at her with surprise.

"Anthea, what is happening here?" He asked, but then, all of a sudden, he covered his mouth like he just said something inappropriate.

Anthea was taken aback by these words. How this child knew her name?

After short moment of silence he uncovered his mouth and said:

"Oh, this is ridiculous! Does this idiot put helium in here? No, helium doesn't sound like that. Anthea, tell me what's going on. I don't have time for this. I have an important meeting with Lady Smallwood scheduled in four hours."

The woman was astonished. This boy… this boy was talking just like mister Holmes. Suddenly it hit her why he seemed so familiar. Once she was in mister Holmes' parents' house to discuss something, and they showed her a family album. They were focusing mostly on photos from her boss' childhood. It struck her back then how cute and unlike of his adult self was Mycroft Holmes as a little boy. But she guessed that even he had to be a child at some point.

Meanwhile the boy looked around and quickly examined the armchair he was sitting in.

"This is by far the most overblown prank my little brother has ever pulled out on me."

Was it possible that this five year old boy was, in fact, mister Holmes?

"Seriously, does he not know that I have a country to run?"

"Sir?" Anthea asked suddenly. "Is that really you?"

He gave her surprised look, but then he frowned.

"Okay, what did he offer you for playing along?"

"Nothing." She said defensively. "I'm just as astounded as you."

For a moment he was looking at her with no sign of emotion on his face, but knowing him, he was now observing her, checking if she was telling truth or not. As expected of someone so intelligent, he must have already notice she wasn't lying.

"Well then, what shall we think about it? Sherlock put me in oversized suit and bought a bigger replica of my armchair to make me think I shrunk."

"Sir, it seems that you really have shrunk." Anthea began. She pulled the powder-box from her purse and opened it so her employer could see himself in the mirror.

If he was surprised before, now he was shocked. After a moment of silence, he told his assistant to bring the mirror closer and when she did, he was staring at his reflection. Anthea started to get nervous by the stillness, when suddenly mister Holmes pulled the mirror aside and with look of absolute lost, he said:

"This must be a dream."

If it is, I must be dreaming it too – Anthea wanted to say but she didn't.

"It's the only logical explanation. And quite simple at that."

"So… should I bring you some clothes for you, sir? Something more… in your current size?"

He seemed to think about it for a moment, before replying:

"Yes, send someone to the store. However, I would prefer a suit. One have to always care of their appearance. Also" He added as his face became more serious. "don't let anybody inside this office. Even if it is a dream, I don't want people to see me like this."

The agent sent to fulfill the task of buying children cloths came back about two hours later and soon at the desk of Mycroft Holmes was sitting sharp dressed five year old. He was small, but still emanating with power. However, the more Anthea was thinking about this whole mess, the more she felt that it was beyond her comprehension. Was it really mister Holmes? Or maybe it was just some elaborate plan to fool everybody and real Mycroft Holmes was imprisoned somewhere waiting for the rescue? Maybe it would be wise to inform superiors about the situation? She immediately imagined the chaos as British officials tried to deal with a child sitting in mister Holmes place. No, for now she needed someone who could easily tell if the five tear old was really her employer; or where he was at the time.

Anthea considered making a move that her employer would probably never agree on. But, oh well… when there was an odd mystery, you were calling Baker Street boys.

This dream seemed oddly real. The sensation of wooden desk, leathered chair and his new clothes seemed just like in reality. Mycroft was eating his breakfast – an oatmeal with forest fruits – and it also tasted like in real life. The only thing that was convincing him he was still dreaming, was his current predicament – his body reduced to that of a five year old. He felt so much less safe in it. He didn't suppose he would be able to fight, not to mention carry his duties. There was nothing intimidating about a little boy and Mycroft needed to be intimidating.

Well, soon he will wake up as a grown up and continue his role in keeping Great Britain safe. For now he only hoped that this dream will be a pleasant one.

Suddenly he heard a commotion outside his office.

"I'm sorry, Lady Smallwood." Always dependable Anthea said. "Mister Holmes can't be disturbed at the moment."

Mycroft froze. Oh, no…

"I've had an appointment." Alicia replied. "He was supposed to meet me in his office at 12 am."

"I'm sorry, Lady Smallwood, but there is… an unexpected emergency and mister Holmes isn't available for anyone."

"I am his superior. If there is an emergency preventing him from meeting me, I should be informed about it at least an hour earlier. What exactly happened?"

He trusted his assistant to handle things smoothly. Or else this situation could have been ugly. Mycroft didn't want Alicia Smallwood to see him in this pathetic state. (Hell, maybe this is where his sub-consciousness was going with in this dream – visualizing his fear of being perceived as weak by a woman he deeply respected.)

"Mister Holmes has a flu. I'm sorry, Lady Smallwood, I forgot about your meeting and I didn't inform you."

Good, Anthea. A simple, grounded explanation. Hopefully Alicia will consider it just a small mistake and this statement won't cost the girl her job.

Then again – it was just a dream, so there was no real consequences for his assistant's "mistakes".

"Well then," Lady Smallwood began after short moment of silence and her voice was more soft. "wish mister Holmes good health and tell him to call me, when he will feel better."

Before Anthea could say: "Of course, Lady Smallwood.", another steps could be heard outside. And judging by the sound, there were two people, probably males.

"Ah, mister Holmes, doctor Watson." Alicia greeted them and Mycroft felt an unpleasantly cold sensation in his stomach.

Sherlock and John, great. He only needed these two in moment like this.

"I was just informed that Mycroft has a flu. Did you came with a case, or is doctor Watson here as a medical consultant?"

Please, Sherlock, for the love of everything that's holy, tell her it's the latter. Tell her that John wanted to examine me and you came along.

"Why yes…" The good doctor began but his companion cut in:

"No, brother dearest is not sick."

Of course, Sherlock was just as much of a bastard in Mycroft's dreams as he was in real life.

The rest of the conversation was muffled as Sherlock was explaining something in quiet voice. Mycroft had a bad feeling about it.

"Considering the fact that it was Anthea that called us here," Sherlock whispered. "something happened to Mycroft and she wanted me to investigate it. Either he wasn't able to call me or Anthea didn't want him to know that she called me. Therefore there are two possibilities: Mycroft is missing or the person in his office is an imposter. So which one is it, huh, Anthea?"

"Well, it's complicated, mister Holmes." Anthea started. "Mister Holmes… I mean… your brother, sir… Well, I guess you would have to see it yourself."

Mycroft considered his options. Sooner or later, the door will be opened and his secret revealed. He could hide, but the hiding places were limited and all of them too obvious. He could tell Anthea to not let anybody inside under the threat of unemployment, but his voice would probably made Sherlock, John and Alicia even more curious. He could try to distract them, while they were still outside, but Sherlock would have seen through it. He could also escape. He had some escape routes prepared for tight situations.

Before he would make up his mind, the door has been opened, by none other than Sherlock. Once three guests looked inside the office and noticed a five year old sitting at Mycroft's desk, they couldn't hide their astonishment. And Mycroft felt stupid for not reacting fast enough. Now both his superior and his younger brother were seeing him in this form and he couldn't do anything about it.

"Is this… who I think it is?" John was the first to speak.

Without saying a word, Sherlock came closer and leaned over the boy, still observing him intensively. Mycroft gave him cold look, not averting his gaze even for a second as both brothers were staring at each other.

"What's your favorite movie." Sherlock asked him suddenly and Mycroft instantly knew it was a test.

"Maltese Falcon." He replied. "But for some absurd reason you always thought it was Gone with a Wind."

"Because you quoted it like crazy whenever it was on telly."

"Well, it is a good movie. Not that you could ever appreciate it, brother dear."

A moment of silence and…

"This oatmeal is your second breakfast. You have chocolate in your fingernails."

Mycroft smiled at the change of the subject.

"Mrs. Hudson is mad at you. You wore this shirt two weeks ago and it clearly wasn't washed ever since."

"Okay, that is Mycroft." John said.

"Definitely." Sherlock added and moved away from the desk. "There is only so much you can teach a five year old and this kid acts too much like an adult with keen observation skills. Which brings the question: how is it possible?"

"I assumed that this is just a dream." Mycroft replied.

"Actually it's not." A strange voice suddenly spoke.

All people in the room turned their attention on a desk where a small (about two inches long), child-like creature suddenly materialized. It looked just like a cherub but it wore dark jeans, woolen jacket and a cap.

The creature turned his head to Mycroft and said:

"Hello, mister Holmes. My name is Herbert and I'm a big fan of yours." Then he stood up, cleared his throat and started to walk from one side of the desk to another. "As all of you probably may know, Mycroft Holmes has a lot on his mind. One could only go so far without any support or break, until they go insane, therefore I arranged this little thing."

This dream started to get weirder. Now Mycroft had to deal with a little human telling him that he turned him into a child?

"Wait, who are you and how did you make Mycroft a little boy?" John asked.

"Well," Herbert stopped and quickly unzipped his jacket, revealing his yellow wings. "it so happens that I'm a cherub. Cherubs can do miracles, which, by your human definition, means defying the laws of nature, such as physics, biology or chemistry. I used a miracle to turn Mycroft Holmes into a five year old child."

"This is ridiculous." Sherlock said. "There has to be some kind of logical explanation."

Mycroft agreed. But then again – it was a dream. It didn't have to make sense.

"Why?" This time it was Alicia who asked a question. "Why did you do such a thing?"

Herbert's eyes became fierce as he flew to her abruptly and with a very serious and determined face replied:

"Because Mycroft Holmes deserves a break." He then started to fly around the adults, giving him the same serious expression. "He deserves to be released from his responsibilities once in a while." He stopped in the middle and smiled. "So I figured out that the best way to go with it will be turning him into a carefree child."

"Well, change me back to normal." Mycroft said, turning cherub's attention to himself. "I have Great Britain to protect."

Herbert turned back to him.

"Wrong. You are a child. Therefore Great Britain isn't your responsibility."

"Yes, it is." Mycroft growled.

"No, it isn't." Cherub's voice was soft, sympathetic, as was his smile. "Neither is the safety of your siblings, nor the happiness of your parents. You are a child now, and you're allowed to do childish things."

"But this state isn't permanent, right?" Sherlock asked. "Every break ends at some point. So you will eventually reverse it?"

"I will do it only when three conditions will be met." Herbert said and started to count on his fingers. "One: Sherlock will be a big brother for more than one day. Two: Mycroft's parents will sincerely apologize to him. And three: Mycroft will feel like all of his burdens has been lifted off his shoulders. Then and only then I will turn him back. In the meantime," He smiled to Mycroft. "have fun and remember: you're a child now. You have a right to be childish, mister Holmes."

And, just like that, he disappeared, leaving four adults and one child astounded.