Title: Of Head Boys and Ties

Author: starjenni

Disclaimer: Not mine!

Warnings: Fighting, blood, arguments, swearing.

Pairings: Mycroft/Sherlock BROTHERLY LOVE.

Rating: T

Spoilers: Only for series 1 (*squeals in joy that I finally get to write that*).

Summary: Mycroft never became Head Boy. This is why.

Mycroft never became Head Boy.

He was a prefect at their stuffy, private boarding school, and he was the best prefect they'd ever had because he was just starting to get the hang of who to manipulate to do what and how, but he was never Head Boy.

He blames Sherlock for this. Sherlock maintains it was all Mycroft's fault.

Mycroft had been in the running for Head Boy, against Wilson Jenkins, who had all the good attributes of a Head Boy except the brains and tact. He made up for it in brawn, money and sheer idiocy, though. Mycroft hated him, though he was careful not to let anyone know this. Sherlock knew it because Mycroft was only truly pleasant to those he utterly despised.

He was not so pleasant when he went to break up a group of boys yelling at each other in the playground at lunch, only to find that the group consisted of Sherlock, Wilson and a number of Wilson's followers.

He took hold of the collar of Sherlock's coat to stop him getting away, and carefully guided himself between the two opposing parties. These sorts of tactics did well for him in later life, when it evolved from quarrelling schoolboys to quarrelling politicians, who were just as bad, if not worse.

"Afternoon," he said smoothly. "Would someone like to tell me what's going on?"

Sherlock wriggled. Mycroft gripped his collar more tightly. Sherlock was eleven and very good at vanishing when he wanted to.

One of Wilson's cronies pouted, but he replied because everyone at the school respected Mycroft if they knew what was good for them. "He insulted my mother," he said.

"And my sister," added another.

Mycroft took in the first boy's shoelaces and the other boy's wrists, and smothered a grin. He could feel Sherlock practically vibrating with the need to say more things he had observed, to show off as much as he could before someone tried to attack him, and he gave him a little shake. He transferred his gaze to Wilson.

"Just ignore Sherlock," he said mildly, "He's a little show-off."

Wilson twisted his face into a scowl, but the impending vote for Head Boy was clearly at the forefront of his mind and besides, Sherlock had said nothing about him. "Since I like you, Mycroft," he said, lying so transparently it was embarrassing, "I'll let it go. This time." And he turned to leave.

It might have been okay and Mycroft might have become Head Boy after all, if Sherlock hadn't chosen that particular moment to say to the retreating Wilson, "You won't win, you know."

Mycroft hastily attempted to drag Sherlock away, but the brat squirmed out of his hold, and by that time, Wilson had turned back and said, dangerously, "Excuse me?"

"The vote for head boy," Sherlock said cheerfully. "You think no one knows about your parents being on the cusp of divorce, but it's clear half the sixth form do, since Mrs Malone let it out on open day, and it's clear your mother will bleed your father dry, because she was the one who persuaded him not to sign any pre nuptial agreements - oh, and you're wrong by the way, she cheated on him first, not the other way around. Anyway, she'll bleed him dry but you'll be made to stay with your father, so you'll be poor and then you won't be able to fulfil your bribe to make sure Harry Johnson stays quiet about that time with Lily Molikin behind the art department block, so he'll tell everyone and then the whole school will know it was you who made her leave and no one will respect you as head boy."

Wilson had gone white with rage. Mycroft - who hadn't known about the bribing Harry Johnson bit - raised an eyebrow in interest. Wilson's cronies muttered to themselves.

"Was I wrong about anything?" Sherlock asked, and smirked.

"You're a fucking little freak," Wilson spat at Sherlock, and then Mycroft - for the first and last time in his life - saw red.

He punched Wilson squarely in the face, and it all went to hell from there.

In retrospect, it was not the way to ensure success as Head Boy. It was, in fact, the headmaster of the school informed Mycroft as he sat in the medical room with tissues stuffed up his bleeding nose, the entire opposite to ensuring success. They couldn't have such a violent individual running for such an important position in the school so it was, with the greatest regret, that the headmaster had to remove Mycroft from the running. Mycroft smiled through his bruised cheek and replied through the tissue in his nose that he completely agreed, that he expected no less, that he was very ashamed of his momentary lack of control.

He waited until the Headmaster's footsteps had died away down the corridor before he allowed himself to swear, loudly and expressively.

"Wash out your mouth," Sherlock said, appearing in the doorway. Of course, the little rat had scurried away as soon as the first punch had been thrown and now looked perfectly neat and presentable.

"Pish off Derlock," Mycroft said through the tissue in his nose, and tipped his head back to persuade the blood flow to stop.

Sherlock's smirk told Mycroft he understood exactly what his injured brother had said. "I don't know why you bothered," he said.

Mycroft put his head back down, removing the tissue from his nose. His uniform was already a muddied, scratched mess, a bit of blood dropping on it wasn't going to make much difference. "He called you a freak," he said.

Sherlock shrugged. "People call me worse. You should have known I don't care what they say."

Mycroft wiped his nose with clean tissue. The blood looked like it was finally clotting. "I care," he said. "You're not a freak. You're incredible. People should appreciate that."

Sherlock looked at Mycroft for a long moment while Mycroft inspected his ruined blazer. "You're projecting," he said at last. "That's what you wish people thought about you."

Something inside Mycroft curled up, cold and tight. He turned away so that Sherlock wouldn't see the hurt in his face. "Whatever you think," he said indifferently, holding the blazer up to the window. It had several holes in the sleeve and he couldn't work out what had caused it. He wished he hadn't lost his tie, but the last time he had seen it, he was using it to strangle one of Wilson's cronies whilst stopping another one from stamping on his face.

There was a long silence from Sherlock's end, an unsteady moment, as if he was reconsidering the truth in what he had just said. "You gave up all the good work you could have done as Head Boy just to punch Wilson Jenkins in the face," he said at last.

Mycroft grimaced; he sounded extra foolish when Sherlock put it like that. "He had it coming," he said. And then he added, rather more sharply than he'd meant to, "And it was about time one of us did something brotherly."

There was another long silence from Sherlock's end, and when Mycroft glanced over his shoulder, he saw he had run off again.

He mopped himself up alone, and wondered why he didn't regret his actions more fiercely than he actually did.

Of course, Wilson Jenkins became Head Boy - despite all Sherlock had said - simply because there was no one else, but Mycroft found he didn't mind after all, especially when Wilson turned up at his door three weeks later, admitted he didn't have a clue what he was doing and that he would very much appreciate Mycroft's help.

This was how Mycroft discovered he preferred working behind the scenes after all.

What clinched his decision that this had been a truly good move though, was when he came into his room one day and found that a Certain Person - who must have been better at lock picking than Mycroft realised - had broken in, only to leave Mycroft's missing tie on his bedside table.

It was, apart from a few muddy stains, no worse for its adventures, and somehow the sight of it made the entire fiasco all worthwhile.