Looking back through my diary at the details of the Sherlock situation, I find I ended by posing a question. 'I really don't know how long it will last before we start wanting to kill each other'.
I am now able to answer that question. It was about three hours.
I haven't documented much since then, in part because the world events of the past few weeks have been far more interesting than one man's fight against drug addiction. In addition, each argument we have managed to have has been utterly tedious while it was going on. The idea of relating each one again in print seemed ridiculous.
Initially, I was prepared to treat him leniently. After all, he was still suffering withdrawal symptoms. After another two weeks, I have to admit his behaviour was starting to grate.
I had provided him with various pieces of equipment for some experiments he wanted to carry out, and as this seemed have boredom elimination potential, I offered him the use of the dining room to be a temporary lab. The one rule was to be that there was enough room left for us both to take our meals there.
He spilled something and took a two foot section of varnish off the table top within twelve hours. It cost me £800 of restoration work. He also somehow set fire to the curtains and created something that produced a smell so foul that the room was off limits for everyone for three days.
I'm fairly sure he did all of this deliberately. He is simply not that clumsy.
Whether it was deliberate or not, he refused to apologise, instead choosing to deflect the argument to my weight. He threatened to tell Marie that I'd been supplementing the food she provides with cream cakes that I buy from the bakery on Victoria Street.
He can be very mean at times.
There were several occasions when I retreated to my room just to end whatever argument we were having. After a while, this seemed unsatisfactory, gave him a sense that he'd won somehow, so I started ordering him to his room instead.
He did not like this.
About ten days ago I came home to find him working away on the laptop I'd given him. He looked very pleased with himself when I came in.
"Here, look at this!" He spun the computer around so that I could see.
I prepared myself to see whatever was there. It was in fact a dull looking little website. I sat down next to him to give it closer attention.
"'The Science of Deduction', well that's nice. Oh, you made this! Well done, Sherlock!"
"Yes. It's my new website for my new job."
"New job?" I looked again. "Wait a minute, you said you didn't want to be a Private Investigator."
"I'm not a Private Investigator. I'm a Consulting Detective. It's different."
"Oh. What does a Consulting Detective do then?"
"Well, when people think there's a crime, or some other mysterious event has happened, they consult with me and I explain what must have happened."
"How exactly does that differ from being a PI? Just out of interest?"
"It's clearly different!" He took the computer back from me.
"OK. Well, what will my job be?"
"What do you mean?"
"Aren't we going into business together?"
"God no! I can think of nothing worse. Besides which, you have a job."
"But it was my idea!"
"No it wasn't!"
"Yes it was! I said, 'why don't you become a PI?' or words to that effect. I offered my support! I extended the hand of friendship!"
"One, I'm not a PI, I'm a Consulting Detective. There's a difference. Two, I don't want or need your support. Three, neither one of your hands is the hand of friendship!"
"I am your friend!"
"No you're not."
"Well I'm your brother, but I'm your friend too!"
"No you're not!"
"After all I've done…"
"All of what? Oh, I see. You think that you've done something here. You think that everything I've been through has only been possible because of you, don't you? Nothing to do with the fact that I chose to give up the bloody drugs, and I was the one who went through all the withdrawal, and I will be the one who continues to not take the bloody drugs day after day after day. All you did was trap me here and sod off to work every day!"
I was genuinely hurt. Either he didn't notice or he decided to keep going regardless.
"I'm not your pet, your project or your child, Mycroft. I did this, me! And I don't need your help now!"
He stormed out of the room and slammed his bedroom door.
I decided if he didn't want my help I wouldn't advise him to add a little colour into his website to make it more appealing to the eye.
Relations between us have been somewhat chilly since then.
A few days ago he did start speaking to me again, to ask my permission to leave the flat.
"Of course not! We agreed thirty days!"
"No. You said, thirty days, and you said it was without taking drugs. You never said I couldn't leave the flat."
"It was clearly implied!"
"Oh for heaven's sake, Mycroft, do you honestly think that as soon as I leave I'm going to shoot up?"
I hesitated. "No, of course not."
"Oh, damn you, Mycroft! I need to go out for my work, for the job you wanted me to get! I need to."
"How about if Eddie accompanies you?"
"No! That great oaf will just slow me down!"
"OK, fine. How about I go out, I do my job, and you can test me for drugs afterwards!"
I hesitated again. He did seem so eager. "Fine, go out then. But be back by nine."
"I'm not your child, Mycroft!"
"You're wasting time arguing with me."
He looked like he was going to retaliate, but instead he just snarled and darted out.
He walked in again at nine on the dot, looking triumphant. He was about march past to his bedroom when I stopped him and provided him with the small sample pot from the drug testing kit Anthea had bought for me.
"No, this is what we agreed, isn't it?"
"You don't trust me?"
"It's not about whether I trust you or not, Sherlock!"
"Of course it is!" He was about to march away again but I called after him.
"Come on, Sherlock. I really don't want to have to start the thirty days all over again. Do you?"
He stopped, then turned around and came back to snatch the pot from me. He marched into the bathroom and locked the door behind him. When he'd finished he marched back to his room.
It's a deeply unpleasant business, testing someone's urine for drugs. I briefly wondered if I could ask Marie or Eddie to do the deed, but I swallowed my nausea, put on the medical gloves supplied, and ran the test.
I knocked on Sherlock's door, and opened it to find him sat on the bed, working on his laptop.
"It was clean," I told him.
"I know," he replied.
For a moment I wondered if I should apologise, but he'd already turned back to his computer, so I left him alone.
He hasn't spoken to me since. He leaves tomorrow. I remember that when he was first here I entertained the idea that he might want to stay. Or that he might at least want to communicate with me in some way if he lived elsewhere. That seems quite unlikely now. While this saddens me, I'm not completely sure that I want to communicate much with him either.
Having him here has been stressful and I'm longing for the calm of the life I had before Christmas.
A similar thing happened the summer of that fateful party.
The following day he'd leapt out of bed and seemed completely unscathed from everything that had gone on the day before. He had started chattering about ant-hills or some such thing, and after his breakfast he disappeared out into the woods again. I followed, fearing that he'd get himself into some mischief or another. Sure enough, he was in a tree, crawling out on a branch over the small stream that ran through the woods there. The branch was slowly bending towards the water.
He wasn't in immediate danger, but I sensed if he returned to the house in filthy clothes for a third time in twenty-four hours, things might go quite badly for him. I encouraged him back down to the ground, and we found a safer way to cross to the giant ant-hill on the other side.
I remember when September came, I was looking forward to school as if it promised to be a delightful rest.
It is not a dissimilar feeling that I have now.
He's eager to leave too. He's packed all the clothes that I bought him in a small suitcase that used to be a part of my luggage set, but I assume it's his now. I can't help but notice that a number of my boring books have mysteriously gone missing. I wonder if I should employ a consulting detective to find out what has happened to them.
I'm not sure where he's going. I don't know whether he'll return to the house he was squatting in or whether he has any possessions there that he might want to keep, assuming they haven't been stolen and sold. I'd like to ask him, but I'm really not sure how.
26th January 23:24
As a small addendum to my previous entry, I want to note the following event.
I went into the dining room this evening, which was laid for one person. This isn't unusual. Sherlock has declined to take his meals with me and I'd reverted to eating alone. I assume that Sherlock has been getting sustenance from somewhere. He was certainly putting on weight. Not as much as I seem to be, but he is looking better. He is still refusing to get his hair cut claiming that he'll keep it long because it irritates me, but I've seen him admiring himself in the mirror. It's nice to see some of his old vanity returning.
I went in to start my meal (oh, delightful Marie. What would I do without her?). As I ate, I suddenly noticed the soft, low tones of a violin being played. After a while it became louder and I could identify themes from Vivaldi being entwined into the music. It was absolutely beautiful.
He continued playing for the entire time I was eating my meal. He didn't leave his room, but his bedroom door had been left open so the music flowed freely through to me. I was sorely tempted to run into the room and simply beg him to stay. It was better than I could possibly have imagined. For the first time ever, there was something I was enjoying more than the food during a meal time.
When I had finished and left the room, he came to a close and stopped playing. I knocked on the door of his room and went in. He was carefully putting his violin back in its box.
"Thank you, Sherlock," I said to him. He just shrugged at me, but didn't shout or ask me to leave. "Do you know where you'll be living yet?"
"No. I've booked a hotel room for tomorrow night while I find somewhere."
"You know you're welcome to stay here until you're settled."
"Thank you, but no."
"I can help you find a flat."
"No, I'll be fine."
"Why must you continue to fight me?"
He looked up and smiled at me. "Because you're my enemy, Mycroft. I think that's your function in my life."
"It's OK. As enemies go, you're a fairly good one."
"You might even be my arch-enemy."
"Oh. Well that's good."
"Yes, I think so."
I nodded and bid him goodnight.
There's something quite comforting about being Sherlock's arch-enemy. I'm glad that there isn't anyone out there who wishes him more harm than I do.
30th January 23:10
I feel some epilogue is needed to the saga of my brother. Not that he ceases to be, of course, just that I feel the part of his story where I feature has come to an end. Well, for him, anyhow. I will have him under continual surveillance. This is probably unnecessary, but I know he will find it annoying, knowing that I know what he's doing all the time.
Anyhow, it came to my attention that he is seeking, and has found, a flatmate. A Doctor John Watson. He's ex-military, recently home from Afghanistan where he was unfortunately shot. What's more unfortunate, on reading his files, is that he appears to be psychologically damaged too. I'm not sure I want another such individual in the same vicinity as my brother so I arranged to meet him.
I wasn't entirely sure how this meeting would go, so I arranged it as discretely as possible. I didn't call him on his own phone, nor did I meet him anywhere where my dearest Brother might spot us. It took a couple of public phones to get the point across, but he did eventually catch on.
Anthea picked him up. She tells me he spent much of the journey trying to 'chat her up'. I note from her phone records that she spent much of the journey texting Eddie, so he had absolutely no hope. Ah well, it's probably best that she doesn't distract him from Sherlock.
The man himself was odd. He appeared to be perfectly ordinary, if you discounted that ridiculous cane for the psychosomatic limp. When face to face, however, he failed to behave in an ordinary way at all.
He was incredibly proud, and quite defensive from the outset. Of course, thinking now, it might have been that he found the location I'd chosen mildly intimidating. It can't be helped of course, and I explained to him that we needed to avoid Sherlock's prying eyes, but I'm not entirely sure he got the point. Besides which, I provided a chair to make him comfortable. Again, I fear I may have overshot 'comfortable' and hit 'intimidating'. It did look suspiciously wipe-clean now I come to think of it.
He took pains to inform me that he wasn't afraid of me, and suggested that I was overly dramatic. This annoyed, I have to admit, but I attempted to praise his courage to get him on side a little. Again, this didn't quite seem to hit the mark. Perhaps the word 'stupidity' wasn't quite what I intended.
Or maybe it was. This is a man who clearly has courage in spades, where I have none. Over recent weeks, it's come to me that perhaps I have intelligence to make up for my cowardice. A complicated notion, and perhaps one that best not aired at that particular meeting.
I offered him a meaningful incentive to keep an eye on S and to report back to me on any activities. He was swift to refuse. While the information would have been useful, I am quite pleased to know that there is someone close by to S who appears to be extremely loyal to him. I hinted that a relationship might be pleasant for all, but again, this seemed to slightly miss the target.
In fact, there was one brief moment when it looked as though he was going to walk away from the pair of us and I was briefly worried. Fortunately, I hit upon the happy suggestion that perhaps he might like to consider London his new battlefield, and therefore accept Sherlock as his new comrade.
He asked Anthea to take him to Baker Street and I knew then that all was well. Well, until my little brother messes things up for himself. But even then, I wonder if the sort of courage that Doctor John Watson has might be just what young Sherlock needs.
I hope so anyway.
I contemplated texting the details of the cabbie over to S just to hurry him along. Not least because his relationship with Lestrade of Scotland Yard still seems to be quite tense and a 'win' in this case might help to mend that slightly. In the end I decided against.
He seems to be having so much fun working it out on his own.
I shall be watching the career of the world's first Consulting Detective with more than a little interest.