KS: Halloa, and welcome to another of my Sherlock Holmes fanfictions. I'm very glad that you've chosen to read it, and I hope you enjoy. This particular fanfic started from…well, it started from boredom. And I was at a computer. So, I started writing. I have no direction at all in my mind as I sit here typing this introduction, so…let's hope and pray for the best! I'm going to attempt being more colourful and 'romantic' with my words in this one—I've never quite been as good as that as I should be.

And...for now...this fic shall be titled Brother. I may change that later. xD

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Sherlock Holmes or any of the affiliated characters or ideas. They were created by the amazing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sherlock Holmes sat morosely in his chair before the fire, smoking broodingly on his favourite pipe.

It was a bitterly cold winter's evening. The wind howled about our rooms at Baker-Street, and I saw my companion's brow furrow further as he sank down into his velvet-lined armchair, his blue dressing-gown drawing around himself a bit more with the movement.

I was immensely grateful for the warm fire before me. I had been out most of the day on errands, and I still felt as if I had been chilled to my very marrow.

A knock at the door preceded our landlady, Mrs. Hudson, as she brought in a tray for tea.

"A cup of nice, hot tea will do you good, Dr. Watson," she said. "You'll pain that war wound of yours if you don't take more care with the weather."

I smiled as I took the cup she offered. The tone of her voice sounded more like a mother to a young boy that had been puddle-jumping all day than a landlady to her tenant.

"Of course, Mrs. Hudson." said I.

She poured another cup and sat it on the table next to Holmes, who still stared into the fire and made no motion or acknowledgement of her presence. A frown of worry crossed my face as I stared at my friend over my teacup, but as Mrs. Hudson looked at me questioningly I smiled and thanked her for the tea. She shrugged slightly and left us, the silence again being broken only by the cheery crackling of the fire and dismal howling of the winter winds outside.

"Holmes," I finally said. "What is the matter?"

My friend had been silent the entire day, save this morning when he bid me a short "Good morning." For as long as I saw him during the day he had been pacing the short length of the sitting-room, but since I had returned he had been in his chair, hardly moving. Now I wished deeply to know what was bothering him so, for to me it did not seem that he was on a case.

"Holmes—" I said again. Holmes abruptly took the pipe out of his mouth, clasping the other hand over his lower face, his dark brows gathering as his sharp grey eyes dulled.

"What is wrong?"

"It's…Mycroft." he said finally. "He is sick."

He stared into the fire for a moment longer.

"Is he all right?" I asked, concerned.

In reply Holmes reached a long, thin, pale arm over to the desk and lifted from it a piece of paper.

"I received a telegram this morning." He said as he passed the slip over to me. "He is…all right, for now. So he says. But that doesn't hide the fact that this is the first time he has ever told me of a sickness by telegram. He never mentions when he's sick."

I took the paper and began to read to myself:—



"Have you been out to see him?" I asked.

"No." Holmes replied. "Not yet. I'm not sure that he would want me to visit."

"Why not?"

"Because, he is a proud man, Watson. Because he doesn't want his little brother to come in, pitying him."

"Surely not, Holmes." said I.

Holmes rested his chin in his hand as he leaned on the arm rest of the chair.

"Perhaps. Regardless…" Holmes paused for a moment. "To-morrow, I will go visit him. He will, undoubtedly, act indignant, regardless of what he really feels."

I smiled inwardly. The two Holmes brothers were different in their ways, indeed, but they were invariably similar. I still felt for my friend, however, and worried for his brother. Holmes had never looked quite so concerned, and the fact that his brother had never mentioned his sicknesses before and now did so seemed to give him good grounds for concern.

"To-morrow," Holmes repeated, much more quietly as he stared again into the fire, "I will go."

KS: Thanks for reading! Please review, and tell me what you think of this randomly-started story so far. :D