To The Inevitable Dusk

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk. - Susan Scarf Merrell

The Holmes family was measured by the father's height - Mycroft at his shoulder, Mother at his chest, and young Sherlock at his hip. But this little boy had barely managed to reach Sherringford's knees.

When the brothers first were told that a little brother would be substituting for their Christmas gifts, Sherlock's reaction was by far the more animated one. Immediately he began to conjure up all sorts of experiments that required a living subject, and with elated joy considered the prospect of being able to play a deduction game without losing to Mycroft. His spirits were only dampened when told it was a matter to keep rather silent about.

Mycroft, however, could not say that he was happy. He did not want to say much of anything regarding the present circumstances - the child would be a disruption of comfortable, well-established habits. He certainly would not be the one to comfort it when nightmares came a-knocking, as he knew they would.

When the day arrived Violet dressed her sons in the Sunday attire they had never found an occasion to wear. As expected (and dreaded) Sherlock tore a hole in his trousers his first trip down the stairwell, and Mycroft made a number of comments on the idiocy of dressing flamboyantly when the new family member was likely to look as though it was fetched from the Thames. Their mother wasn't as fussy as she was usually wont to be, merely ecstatic, seemingly beyond the edges of good manners and sanity.

There was a knock, and their reactions were almost comical. Sherlock let out something similar to a puppy's yelp, Violet squealed, and Mycroft growled rather inaudibly. Any callers might have thought they were happening upon an excitable kennel of dogs.

Sherringford let himself in, too eager to wait for his wife to bid him entry. His face was alight and flushed with something that Violet had seen on two occasions previously.

"Everyone," he said in a loud, happy voice, drawing a little, pale boy from behind his legs. "I'd like you to meet John Holmes."