Mycroft knows when a penny drops in Whitehall. He knows who's said what to whom, and where. And in which smoky rooms the scandals are happening and where they're being glossed over. He knows more underground and invisible agencies than most civilians know their above-board politicians. Mycroft has toured the Torchwood facility at Cardiff (had a few things to say on workplace conduct, and only chuckled derisively when Captain Jack attempted an innuendo), and had even gone overnight to their base in America to smooth a little something over at Area 51. Nothing he liked to brag about, naturally, these weren't the sort of things you tended to brag about (out loud, at least; a few of the men at the Diogenes were in it with him, and they could laugh about escaped aliens over a good cigar in a room with drawn blinds all they wanted).

It seemed that Mycroft Holmes knew the movements of everyone and everything in Britain, and in Europe at large. So it was frankly alarming when a man appeared in his office at the club with no proper warning.

Mycroft, however, hardly spares the stranger a glance. "The Doctor, isn't it?" he asks, his eyes on the bowtie. "The Stetson is a marked improvement over that garish thing you wore to the service."

"Just call it a wedding," the Doctor replies, sauntering slowly into the office. "We all do."

"And how is my younger brother?" Mycroft asks, raising eyebrows in the Timelord's direction. "Not too much of a nuisance, I hope. I would hate to have to clean up his messes in other times as well as this one."

The Doctor doesn't laugh. In fact, the man's normally expressive face seems locked up and horribly tight. He's most definitely not smiling. Hands in the pockets of his long coat, he utters a sigh before he comes to rest in front of Mycroft's desk.

"I hear you're the man to come to when you need a favor," the Doctor says lowly.

"I don't do the washing, if that's what you're after," Mycroft replies, eying the Doctor up and down with a tut at the state of his travel-worn clothes.

The Doctor straightened slightly, proudly. Adjusted his lapels, and began again. "I need you to... talk to Sherlock for me."

"If he would allow me." Mycroft nearly breaks his stoicism to smirk in a condescending way.

"He'll allow you," the Doctor cuts in, "if you say you have something from me. Which you will. If you'd be quiet for just a minute." Shakes his head, leans one hand on the desk. "Is obstinacy hereditary?"

"Sometimes I wonder," Mycroft supplies, and he begins to leaf through the nearest file.

"All right, listen," the Doctor says. "There are certain... unavoidable things in everyone's lives. Like growing up, and baths, and well, dying."

This gets Mycroft's attention. "Is something wrong with Sherlock?"

"No, no," the Doctor says quickly. "No, he's fine, I'm sure. It's my problem, really."

Mycroft pins the Doctor under a startlingly familiar gaze. He finally finds Mycroft's full attention on him, and he realizes why the man refuses to use it too much—it's jarring to feel the full weight of deduction slam him in the chest without warning.

"Why won't you see Sherlock, if you're so intent on dying, Doctor?" Mycroft drawls, and he returns to his work as if he hadn't just read the entire situation from the Timelord.

"It's not that I don't want to see him," the Doctor says quickly, dropping his eyes. "Nothing would be better right now than a sit with the boys in front of the fire with a tin of biscuits and maybe a hug if John's not too busy, but no. I can't see them because... goodbyes are very, very hard. And I couldn't stand to see the look on either of their faces when I have to say it."

Mycroft utters a noise that may have been a dry laugh. "You have a problem with stubbornness all your own, Doctor."

"I do not," the Timelord protests.

"So, you want me to take your farewells to Baker Street for you." Mycroft says—it's not a question, Mycroft hardly has to ask questions of anyone.

"Please," the Doctor says with a horrible, defeated tone of voice. "And. And, if you don't mind." He reaches into his coat, and when his hand reappears, there's a dark blue envelope in his hand. "It's for both of them. And if you do read it, be nice and seal it up again when you're done, Mycroft."

"Naturally," the man behind the desk says with a false smirk. He takes the proffered envelope and gives it a quick once-over. And, when he returns his gaze level to the space across the desk, the Timelord has gone. Completely vanished, leaving only the sound of the TARDIS dematerializing into the vortex behind him.

Mycroft shakes his head, and he breaks the seal on the envelope.

AN: written during a livewrite (in which I open up a googledoc and folks can watch me write or join in the fun) when people kept correcting my grammar. This is partially thanks to trulybliss on tumblr, who said I hadn't done enough Mycroft. This is for you, blissy! As always, thanks for reading, leave us some love, and don't forget to STAY AWESOME!