The year was 1990, Sherlock Holmes, aged fourteen propelled himself through the tall cherry coloured front door headlong and skidded along the polished wooden mahogany floor on the knees of his tightly fitting charcoal school suit trousers. His black silk tie had worked itself out of his navy woolen sweater and flicked up against his face. In his hands he clutched victoriously a creamy coloured skull. Sherlock shot the skull a smirk before collapsing onto his front and examining his latest find from a spectrum of angles.
"Sherlock?" Called his elder brother Mycroft from the kitchen, which was off the hallway. Mycroft's slightly concerned face appeared at the doorway.
"Yes Mikey?" The younger of the two answered while snickering at his nickname for his older brother. Mycroft rolled is eyes and made his way through the doorway and half way across the hall before he froze and his large mercurial eyes widened upon seeing the skull.
"Sherlock get up off the floor. You'll dirty it. And put that skull back where you found it." Mycroft scolded and hooked his fingers through the crook of Sherlock's elbow and hoisted him to his feet with considerable ease as Sherlock had the stature of a beanpole and the emotional range to match.
"And how do you propose, dear brother, that I return the skull? I've already filled the grave back in." Mycroft opened his mouth ever so slightly before promptly closing it and tightening his grip on Sherlock's arm while forming a fist with his free hand.
"I'm only joking Mycroft. Lighten up. It's Nigel from next door's skull." Mycroft gaped and spun his brother around by his shoulders to face him with a stern expression etched on his 21-year-old face. Mycroft was quickly turning a nasty shade of plum.
"Sherlock. I am slightly, slightly more tolerant of your, well your endeavors than Mother and Father but I will not stand for your killing our next door neighbour!" He bellowed indignantly and raised his hand to strike his younger brother before he dropped his hand to his side meekly.
"How you ever managed to get into Oxford I shall never know Mycroft. It's not his actual skull, it's a skull that belongs to him." Sherlock said and shot his brother a languid grin. Before wriggling out of Mycroft's grasp he wrinkled his nose at his brother patronisingly.
"Please tell me you didn't steal his skull." Mycroft begged and caught hold of Sherlock's blazer sleeve. Sherlock snorted as thought it was possibly the most ridiculous thing he heard all week.
"Pfft. Course not you great oaf. I traded it." Mycroft's grey eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"With what, dare I ask?" Mycroft returned and squared his shoulders to his brother. Sherlock rolled his eyes. Sherlock was exactly 3 inches shorter than his brother and was all bones and angles. Sherlock had never felt at all intimidated by his elder brother but now with Mycroft's eyes flashing dangerously and his hands balled into fists Sherlock felt, anxious and maybe even bordering on excitement.
"Your coat. The navy one, do you-" Sherlock was cut of by Mycroft spluttering loudly and grabbing his mischievous looking brother into a tight headlock while murmuring threats into Sherlock's ear that was rapidly turning an angry red due to the lack of oxygen he was taking in. Mycroft may have been upset about losing his brand new tailcoat to Nigel-From-Next-Door but he wasn't about to suffocate his brother for it.
"That cost £1600 Sherlock." Mycroft hissed through his perfectly straight, thanks to an 18-month brace treatment, teeth.
"Ah but the skull's priceless, Mycroft." Sherlock replied mimicking his brother's stiff tone.
"That's because no one, except for you is stupid enough to buy it!" Mycroft shouted out rather loudly and his cheeks flushed in embarrassment.
"I bartered with it actually Mycroft. Shall I get you a much needed dictionary for Christmas?" Sherlock smirked and gestured with his hands to create the image of a box. "To Mycroft, Here is a dictionary for those speechless moments of yours, Love Sherlock, Your perfectly eloquent brother?" Mycroft apparently did not find it in the slightest bit humourous.
"Shut up Sherlock. Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." Mycroft said stiffly and huffed quietly. Sherlock just raised a dark slim eyebrow in answer before slinking out of the room. There was a soft phlumph as Sherlock threw himself onto the velvet couch in the drawing room and the sharp exhale of breath as he attempted to get comfortable.
Mycroft sighed at his younger brother's antics and followed Sherlock's progress into the large room. Sherlock was sprawled across the couch with his head levered upwards by the one of the armrests and about three feet of legs hanging ungracefully across the opposite.
"Take your shoes off." Mycroft said scornfully and deposited himself with a shred more dignity than his brother on Sherlock's outstretched legs.
"G'ff you fat lump." Sherlock moaned and swatted halfheartedly at Mycroft's forearm. Sherlock rotated his abdomen in a tight circle and let out a groan Mycroft shifted himself further along to Sherlock's thighs. Sherlock let out a quiet stream of illicit curses as his brother transferred all of his 6"3 frame on top of him.
"Ow, Jesus Mycroft stop being so childish. Shouldn't you be off at a Rotary Meeting kissing arses or snogging that pathetic girlfriend of yours?" Sherlock said tiredly and rubbed his hand across his young face and mussed his hair up from its already unruly state.
"Hilary isn't pathetic!" Mycroft said indignantly and poked his smirking little brother in the ribs with surprising vigor for such a man with such neatly manicured nails.
"She is a lesbian though." Sherlock said rather smugly and rolled onto his front before Mycroft tugged him back onto his back and loomed over him with an arched eyebrow.
"And how did you deduce that Sherlock? By the nail varnish on her pinky I suppose? Or the way she ties her shoelaces? Don't interfere in things you don't understand Sherlock." Mycroft warned before releasing his rather tight grip on Sherlock and relaxing back onto a selection of expensive cushions feeling suitably superior. Sherlock took a few moments before deciding to reply in his usual curt tone.
"Nope I saw her kissing Susan Cholmondely outside the Deli yesterday." Sherlock revealed with his eyes shut and looking as though he merely just said, "The weather's very mild for this time of year." Mycroft's mouth was hanging open at an angle and he lacked his usual composure.
"What did you say Sherlock?" Mycroft questioned quietly. Sherlock didn't answer but instead stood up and started walking towards the door. "I'm sorry Mycroft. If you need to talk-"
Unbelievable. Was Sherlock Bartholomew Holmes of Cherry House, Eton really offering his services to console his elder brother?
"-The skull is a very good listener."
Obviously not, Mycroft thought before turning to inspect the newest edition to the carved stone mantelpiece. Sherlock's skull, which Mycroft also thought, appeared to be leering at him.