This is the continuation/elaboration of CH. 9(Happy Birthday) from my story Brother's. You don't have to go to that one to read it, that Chapter is below. I moved that here to make it its own story... (Hope that makes sense...)

Rated for Drugs etc...

Sherlock: 20 Mycroft:27

It was Sherlock's 20th birthday; he had come home from uni, upon mummy's request of course. Mycroft was called away from London as well, for the customary family dinner. The party was to be nothing ostentatious, Sherlock wouldn't stand for anything more than the immediate family and even then that was barely tolerable.

Sherlock had come on Friday to stay the weekend, Mycroft arriving early Saturday morning. Father tended to work on Sunday's so Saturday night was ideal, though there was never a guarantee of his attendance.

"Good morning, Mummy," Mycroft greeted, striding into the familiar dining room.

"Is that my Brolly?" Madame Holmes greeted, rising from her breakfast with open arms and a smile upon her delicate features.

Mycroft colored at the nickname of his youth as he embraced her warmly. "And where is the dear birthday boy?" he after they parted.

Madame Holmes sighed audibly, returning to her chair. "Sleeping," she shrugged tiredly, worry evident upon her features, "He was in a right state all yesterday, do see if you can coax him down for breakfast." She asked patting his arm.

"I'll see what I can do Mummy," he offered, patting her shoulder as he crossed behind to exist.

"Thank you, cher," She smiled, "I'll call for your boy's breakfast."

Mycroft headed up the back staircase, towards his brother's room. Trying to prepare himself for his brother, whatever was going on was clearly upsetting mummy and he was determined to get to the bottom of it. He paused in front of the door smirking at the hazardous symbol that still graced it, then raised his fist to knock tentatively.

"Sherlock?" He called as he wrapped upon the wood. Without a reply he moved to open the door to find it strangely locked, a new habit no doubt. "Sherlock, come, open the door… it's time for breakfast." Mycroft listened cautiously, hear clinking around from the other side of the door. "I know you're in there," he sighs, "Mummy wants you to come down."

A dramatic groan sounds from inside the room, "I'll be down promptly," Sherlock's voiced curtly."

"You had better," Mycroft stated, waiting a beat to make sure Sherlock was actually up and moving. Mycroft ambled back down to the dining room, informing mummy that Sherlock would be joining them.

"Good to see his moods are better since going to uni," Mycroft jested tucking in to his breakfast.

"Do not start, Mycroft," Madame Holmes chided, "This is his weekend and I will not tolerate any fighting."

"Good morning!" Sherlock interrupted strolling in energetically, "Mummy, radiant as always," he offered kissing her cheek. "Mycroft, as rotund as ever," he smirked mischievously, taking his seat across from his brother.

Mycroft was quite taken aback at how much thinner his brother had become since last he'd saw him.

"Sherlock be nice," She warned, but there was no threat in her words as she scanned over the paper.

"So nice of you to grace us with your presence," Mycroft offered bitingly, "Late night?"

"Hmm," Sherlock hummed, starring down at his plate with a frown; then opting for a small bite of his toast.

"You must be hungry, cher," Madame Holmes offered, rubbing her sons arm affectionately. "Sylvia said you didn't even touch your dinner last night," she added, her brow creasing.

Sherlock sipped his coffee thoughtfully, "Do not fret, mummy," he started, "Mycroft's here now, he'll eat us out of house and home before the days out." He quickly pilfered a part of the morning paper.

"I must have forgotten, Sherly, but how old are you turning again?" Mycroft smirked, "Five, was it?"

"Ah, yes, I must seem a mere babe to a man who's almost 30... going on 60." Sherlock retaliated, then gasped, "'Croft! Is that a bald spot I see?"

"Enough!" Madame Holmes snapped, standing up from her chair. "If you two cannot behave like the two loving and caring brothers I tried to raise you to be, then this evening is canceled."

"Promise?" Sherlock asked aside, earning a death glare from his mother.

"Am I making myself perfectly clear?" She asks looking down her nose at her sons.

"Yes, Mummy," The boys grumbled in unison, their mother never losing the terrifying quality that her temper held over them; even as they got older.

"Wonderful," She smiled returning to her seat, "Now eat your breakfast, and then you may be excused until dinner."

Mycroft finished first, retreating to one of the front rooms to do some paperwork he had fallen behind on. Around noon, he started to get a bit peckish and decided to trot off to the kitchen for a snack since he still had a good 5 hours before dinner. As he made his way down the long hallway, he couldn't help but over hear the raised voices of him mother and brother coming from, mummy's office. Treading slowly, Mycroft's curiosity got the better of him as he eavesdropped on the conversation.

"What do mean, you aren't sure if you're going to continue your studies?" Madame Holmes questioned in shock.

"It's superfluous, I've learned all I need to know," Sherlock informed her, "There's nothing left for me there, therefore you and father are just wasting your money."

"Wasting our money!" She repeats credulously, "It would be a waste if you didn't finish, Sherlock... You are brilliant, and that will mean nothing if you don't have the proper credentials to back it up!"

"I don't see how a scrap of paper can confirm or deny my level of intellect," He stated venomously, "Any idiot can graduate University!"

"Get out of my sight," Madame Holmes ordered him, "We'll discuss this when your father is home."

"Oh," Sherlock prodded sarcastically. Mycroft shaking his head in the hall, his brother never did know when to shut up. "Is dear daddy going to grace us with his presence this year? It's only my birthday… wouldn't be the first one where work came first."

"You haughty, ungrateful child," She snapped, and Mycroft could picture the head shake the accompanied her words. "I do not want to see you until 5:30 for dinner and we will talk about this when father is home." She glared icily back at her sons similar gaze as he turned to leave. "Oh and Sherlock," she stopped him, "I want you to think long and hard about what you're suggesting here, is the price really worth what this means to us?"

Sherlock fixed his mother with a look, his face hard; but his eyes betraying him. "That price is my happiness," He stated under his breath as he left the room, slamming the door behind him.

Mycroft acting as quickly as he could so he wouldn't be caught, heading straight for the kitchen as he replayed all he heard; including Sherlock's parting statement. He decided that after grabbing a quick snack he'd go in search of his brother.

Searching the large house, Mycroft found his brother locked once again in his bed room. He knocked on the door again, "Sherlock, may I speak with you?" he inquired, hearing the clinking of glass and rustling from within the room.

"Just a moment," Sherlock replied, opening the door a moment later.

Mycroft took in his appearance, the buttons on his shirt sleeves undone but not rolled up and his eyes were red as if crying. "May I come in?"

"Very well," Sherlock sighed, padding from the door and flopping on his back on his large bed. "What do you want?" he asked, his fingers idly drumming on his chest as he stared at the ceiling.

"Wanted to chat, you know, how's school and life in general?" Mycroft inquired, sitting in the high backed chair in the corner across from the bed.

"Peachy," Sherlock huffed.

"Clearly," the elder brother sighed, looking out the window. "You know I won't force you to talk to me, least of all about how you're feeling… I know how you abhor such things, but clearly something is wrong."

"Spying again, 'Croft?" He cranes his neck to glare at his brother across the room, "Is the government not paying you enough for your skills?" Mycroft fixing him with a knowing look, as if to say you can't fool me. Sherlock sighed audibly in indignation, "It is of no concern of yours, you will hear it all out by the end of the weekend any way," his frown deepened. "Now if you'd be so kind," he motioned limply to the door, "I wish to take a nap before the frivolities."

Mycroft studied his brother, knowing full well he was lying. Sherlock didn't even nap as a child, and there was clearly something off with his underweight brother. He pondered the idea of stress, due to the current situation, but he had a nagging suspicion that there was something more.

"Fine," he rose from his chair, "If you do wish to speak, you know where to find me." With that, Mycroft took his leave, and they brothers didn't see each other till 5 as they headed down for the birthday dinner.

"There are my handsome boys," Madame Holmes greeted them warmly, Sherlock nodding as he headed to his customary seat.

"Uh uh," She tisked, "Sherlock you sit here, she placed her hands on the chair at the head of the table. "The birthday boy gets the seat of honor."

The younger man frowned as he moved to his designated seat.

"Where's father?" Mycroft questioned as he sat to the left of his brother.

"He's running late," She smiled brushing it off, "He'll make it in time for cake."

The three of them, sat in awkward silence as their food was brought to them. They ate silently, Sherlock picking at each course, even though it was his favorite meal prepared just for him. Never fully finishing any of the courses placed in front of him and ignoring Mummy's disapproving glances.

Their father still had not arrived by the time they had eaten their last bite, and mummy insisted that they remain in the dining room and wait for a bit before doing the cake. Mycroft went off to procure a board game, the three of them playing a brutal game of Scrabble. An hour later, Sherlock was reaching his breaking point.

"He's not coming can't we just get this over with?" He huffed, flicking a lettered tile.

"Your father is a man of his word," Madame Holmes fixed him with a look; "He will be here."

"Did you get new curtains in the parlor?" Mycroft asked trying to keep the situation stable.

"Why yes cher," She beamed, "The old ones where terribly shabby, it was just time for a change."

Sherlock rolled his eyes, pushing away from the table before rising, "I'll be right back."

"Where do you think you're going, young man?" She asked sternly, knowing better then to assume he wouldn't try to run off.

"Toilet." He stated curtly, turning on his heel and heading out of the dining room.

Mycroft knew better of course, his brother was actually going out to the garden for a smoke. A terrible habit, really, it was fine once in a while but at the rate his brother was going he'd need at least 3 packs a day in less than a year. Father arrived in Sherlock's absence, bringing the cake in with him, the candles all ready lit. The song dying in his throat as he realized his youngest was not in the room.

"Where is the lad?" He questioned, looking around. No sooner did he ask, and then Sherlock strode back into the room. The singing commenced instantly, much to Sherlock's ire as he returned to his seat.

They cake was cut and he was bestowed two presents. After a couple bites of his cake he pushed it out of the way and towards Mycroft.

"Come on, son, open up your gifts." Mr. Holmes instructed.

"Very well," Sherlock sighed, wishing he could just leave all ready. He opened the envelope from his parents, feigning surprise at the fifty pound note inside which was their customary present. "Thanks," he murmured, pocketing the money until turning to his brothers gift.

"I was going to wrap it in a large box to throw you off, but I figured straight forward was a better approach this year." Mycroft smirked, sliding the simply wrapped square to his brother.

"A, C.D." Sherlock arched a brow as he unwrapped the gift. "Sarasate for violin," he read aloud, holding up the case.

"Figure you'd appreciate it," Mycroft offered.

Sherlock nodded, reading the contents on the back. "Well I think that it's lovely, very thoughtful of you Mycroft." Madame Holmes offered.

"Well, Happy Birthday," Mr. Holmes offered, "The 2-0, eh…" he sighed wistfully, "The good ole' days." He took his wife's hand smiling before turning back to his youngest, "So how's uni?"

"Can we go five minutes without talking about my education?" Sherlock asked coldly.

"I haven't seen you in months and I'm paying good money for your education so I'll ask what I damn well please, you have no right to speak to me like that, young man."

"'Ford," Madame Holmes warned her husband, trying to keep him calm.

"That's correct, father," Sherlock stood, his tone getting loud, "You haven't seen me in months and you couldn't even be on time for dinner!"

"Sherlock," Mycroft began.

"Shut it, Mycroft!" Sherlock snapped. "And as for school, I'm sure mummy can fill you in on the details."

"Sherlock Holmes!" She rose, in full scolding mode. "You sit down right this minute and apologize to your father!"

"No," He snapped back about to push out the door.

"Where do you think you're going young man?" Mr. Holmes stood as well his voice deadly calm.

"You taught me to step out if I cannot calmly and rationally talk to you… so I'm stepping out!" And with that, he left C.D. in hand.

Mycroft slunk away, shortly after his brother left. Their parents discussing the current situation and Mummy filling father in on what transpired earlier, a conversation he didn't need to hear again. The door to the house slammed and echoed down the hall, Mycroft getting there in time to see his brother running down the drive to a car that was waiting outside the gate.

He had no clue as to what to make of his brother's departure as he took up a seat in the front room in order to observe his brother's return. A few hours later his mother wandered in, causing him to look up from the novel he was trying to be interested in.

"We're going to bed, Brolly." She informed him sadly, "He went out then?" She peeks out the curtain. "He will be the death of me," She shakes her head with worry,

"I'll keep an eye out for him."

She smiled sadly and kissed his forehead warmly, "Thank you cher… I know it's hard to see, but you are a great brother and one day Sherlock will come to see that."

"I know mummy," He nodded sternly, glancing to the window. "Good night."

"Good night."

Mycroft watched out the window for a while after Mummy retired before trying to turn back to his book. That task seemed in vain because shortly after he began to drift off, his head falling back as his mouth hung open in sleep. He was woken abruptly, by the sound of violin music coming from above. Checking his watch he noticed it was just after midnight, he stretched briefly and headed toward the apex of the noise; his brother's room.

Without preamble, Mycroft burst into his brother's room surprised to find the door unlocked. That is until see saw his brother; perched on the window seat with a cigarette in his mouth and a needle poised at his arm, a dusting of powder on the Sarasate case.

Mycroft blinked for a moment, taking in the scene with his hand still firmly gripping the door knob. "Sherlock," he breathed, unsure what to do or say.

The younger man fixed him with a look, inhaling in his cigarette as he pushed the plunger home.