A Study in Head Canon: Like a Teddy Bear
Sherlock had been a sweet child. Maybe a bit too serious and almost frighteningly intelligent but sweet nonetheless. Between rattling off facts on plants in the garden or explaining to the maids how to better remove grass stains from his pants, he still found the time to pick flowers for Mummy and go for walks on the estate, hand in hand with Mycroft.
Mycroft loved his little brother dearly. He read to him even after Sherlock learned to read himself (at just about 4 years, 3 months), taught him everything he himself learned from his tutors and basically took care of the younger boy when their governess quit. (Mrs. Holmes hadn't bothered replacing her, her children didn't need that kind of supervision and the woman just hadn't understood them anyways.)
When Mycroft was 12 and Sherlock was 5 he taught him the rhyme. It became a ritual with them. Every night Mycroft would tuck Sherlock in, smoothing the blanket softly.
"Round and round the garden." He'd begin, his finger dragging in a circle on his brothers chest. "Like a Teddy Bear."
"One step." He walked his fingers across Sherlock's chest. "Two Step." Another step with his fingers.
His voice would lighten softly as he smiled and Sherlock would tense, a smile threatening.
"Tickle you under there!" He'd take both hands and tickle Sherlock's sides under his arms.
The younger boy would give a great, high pitched giggle and try to push Mycroft's hands away. They'd go at it for a few moments before Mycroft would finally pull away, grinning.
He'd straighten the blankets again over the grinning Sherlock then lean over, push his dark curls out of the way and kiss his forehead softly.
"Good night, Sherlock."
"Good night, Mycroft." The smaller boy would turn onto his side, messing up the pristine blankets and close his eyes as Mycroft left for his own room.
Their ritual was never interrupted since the boys were very rarely apart. This was until Mycroft turned 16 and decided to stay out late one night with his friends.
That night Sherlock couldn't sleep. He had tried but he'd become accustomed to Mycroft's nightly visit. Instead he turned his lamp on and waited, knowing that Mycroft would have to come home eventually.
It was well past 3 am when his older brother came stealing into the house (slightly tipsy or high, Sherlock decided upon hearing his uneven gait). He waited patiently for Mycroft to come into the room. His eyes widened softly when the footsteps went straight past his bedroom and into the room next door. The sound of that door closing was loud in his ears.
At 9 years old Sherlock was very, very intelligent but he just couldn't understand why Mycroft hadn't come. Slipping out of bed and into his slippers he slid into the hall.
Without knocking he opened Mycroft's bedroom door and stepped in. The older boy was sitting on his bed, wrestling with a boot. He looked up, startled when Sherlock stepped in.
"What is it, Sherlock?" He asked, voice lower now and rough. Alcohol then, judging by his flushed face and red eyes.
"You didn't come and I can't sleep." His voice was soft but clear, he wasn't embarrassed by this declaration.
"What?" Mycroft repeated, still trying to pull off the boot.
"You didn't tuck me in." Sherlock said flatly. Mycroft looked up and stared at his younger brother. Then he smiled and it was cruel.
"You're nine years old Sherlock. Do you honestly need someone to tuck you in anymore like you're a baby?" Sherlock stepped back as if he'd been slapped.
"No. I suppose I don't." He said, his voice only just shaking. He turned around and left the room.
For a moment Mycroft considered going after him and apologizing but he shrugged it off. Sherlock would be better in the morning he reasoned. He went to sleep.
Sherlock went back to his room and climbed back into bed. He stared up at the top of his four poster for the longest time. Then softly he held his finger over his chest and traced a circle.
"Round and round the garden." He whispered. "Like a Teddy Bear."
"One Step." He walked his fingers across his chest. "Two Step."
He slid his arm across his chest and hugged himself. "Tickle you under there."
Sherlock wasn't a child that cried. He didn't cry when he fell from his horse, he didn't cry getting his shots, he didn't even cry when their father left.
Tonight though Sherlock cried himself to sleep.
The next day Mycroft had completely forgotten about what he'd said to Sherlock, his slight hangover probably the cause of this. Sherlock didn't remind him, acting no different towards him.
It wasn't until Mycroft went to Sherlock's room that night and found the door locked that he remembered. He tried knocking but there was no answer.
"Sherlock?" He called softly but again, no answer. Mycroft went to his room then and went to sleep, feeling guilty. The next morning he walked into the dining room to find Sherlock alone with his breakfast.
"Good Morning, Mycroft." Sherlock said, his voice a bit colder than normal. Mycroft paused in the threshold before going to sit next to his brother.
"Listen Sherlock. I'm sorry about what I said. I didn't mean it obviously."
The look Sherlock gave Mycroft shocked the older brother. It was cold and blank.
"No. You're right Mycroft. I'm too old for something so…" The boy actually sneered here. "Childish."
He stood up. "I'm going to go read." He left the room and Mycroft watched him go with a frown.
Sherlock went to their library and pulled a book out on the anatomy of small mammals. He spent the next several hours learning how to replace Nursery Rhymes with nerves, bones and tissue.
From then on Sherlock was never as warm to his brother. He didn't hate him, far from, but there was hole there. A small chasm between the two brothers and from then on Mycroft began to worry.
Now a days Sherlock's head is full of incredible information.
He can't tell you the order of the planets but he can rattle off the symptoms of lead poisoning, can tell you the difference between 13 different shades of yellow, can give you the sheet music for Bach's Sarabande (from Partita n°1 in B minor) from memory and has no problem letting you know just how long it takes for a body kept in water at 98.6 degrees to decompose.
But if you ask him for a Nursery Rhyme there is only one he knows.