A/N: hint of a spoiler for 2x01: A Scandal in Belgravia.

Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock or any of its characters.

"All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage."

He had always been very thorough and strove to do the best to his abilities. Ambitious, was how they described him. That was the reason why only Sherlock was the one to notice he had only of late actually buried himself in his work; of course, they never talked about it.

At first, he knew they were whispering behind his back, saying his grief had made him cold. He liked to believe, however, that he had always been this way, and only for a little while did he have the privilege to bask in the heat of the sun. And now that the day has slipped into eternal night, his heart has turned back to its original icy disposition.

Eventually, they stopped gossiping about it and went on with their lives, their humdrum worlds realigning their orbits. Only he alone had no more sun around which to spin, and, instead, had been pulled towards the desolation of a black dwarf.

He could still feel their pity, though, radiating off of them. He ignored it. The only one in whom he had hoped to find a ray of sympathy was the only one who kept his distance. It wasn't Sherlock's fault, though; he had pushed his younger brother so far away already that the schism would take long to mend, if ever. Sometimes, he didn't even care.

And other times... Well, that's why Mycroft never removed the ring from his finger.