AN. This plot bunny came to me this morning and I haven't been able to shake it. I feel like I rushed it a bit, but I couldn't not write it straight away. Read, enjoy, review! -hugs you all-

When Mycroft arrived home, he was greeted by the horrific, screeching sound of a violin being, for want of a more accurate phrase, tortured. Every now and then there was an almighty crash, presumably of falling furniture, and then the screeching would resume. It wasn't hard to deduce that his eight-year-old brother was in one of Those moods.

He smiled at the petite young woman coming down the stairs: Sherlock's nanny, Miss Collins, affectionately known as Colly. "Hello. What's he sulking about today?"

Colly made a brave attempt to smile back, but looked worried still. "I'm afraid I had to give him some...bad news."

"Oh?" Mycroft raised his eyebrows. "What was that? No, wait." He scrutinised her for a moment, then nodded, satisfied. "You're leaving to get married. Am I wrong?"

She laughed. "No, Mycroft, you rarely are. Go on then, tell me how you knew."

He grinned. "There's a slight indent on your ring finger. You never wear jewellery to work, but you've clearly tried something on quite recently. However your fiancé got the size slightly wrong - it was a surprise proposal, then - so after trying on the ring to admire it, you returned it to him to get it resized. That's why the indent is still visible - it was too small and pinched the skin. So that's the "getting married" bit, and judging by Sherlock's irritable and frankly selfish reaction you must be planning to leave your position here, and quite soon, too, else he'd do the long silent version where he tries to guilt you into doing what he wants. That," he pointed up the stairs, "is angry, desperate sulking, suggesting an imminent departure."

She sighed and nodded. "As usual, you're right." There was another crash from above their heads and she closed her eyes for a moment. "Oh, dear. I hope he isn't breaking anything."

"I should think he's breaking whatever he can," Mycroft said, resignedly. "Don't worry about him, Colly. He'll just have to get used to the idea. Meanwhile," he smiled at her, "Congratulations."

She smiled back almost shyly, but her eyes were shining. "Thank you."

He sighed. "I suppose I'd better go and talk to him."

"Good luck," Colly said as he climbed the stairs.

"Thanks, I'll need it," Mycroft replied, chuckling. He did like Colly. She was very easy to converse with, and was a saint when it came to dealing with his tyrant of a little brother. He'd miss her, he supposed...that is, she'd be gone and he'd notice, but he realised her going would have a far greater effect on Sherlock. She had, essentially, brought him up, been the closest thing he had to a parent when mother and father were away on business trips - and even, though it pained him to think it, when they weren't.

He knocked sharply on his younger sibling's bedroom door. The violin continued to wail. "Sherlock," Mycroft said, sternly, "I am going to come in, whether you like it or not."

He opened the door halfway, waited until the predicted projectile was hurled at what would have been his face, then entered the room. Sherlock was standing in the centre of the room, which closely resembled a bomb site. The younger Holmes brother had always been untidy but usually it was accidental; this was Sherlock trying to make a mess and he was succeeding rather well.

"Sherlock," Mycroft repeated, approaching slowly, "You are behaving like a spoilt child, and you are upsetting Colly in what should be a happy time for her. Stop this."

Sherlock turned to scowl at him. Mycroft was faintly surprised to see the red-rimmed eyes - but then, Sherlock was famous for his crocodile tears, and this was probably no exception.

"She's leaving," he said in what was obviously meant to be defiance, but came out almost plaintively. "She's leaving me and going off to marry that awful man."

Mycroft rolled his eyes. "Sherlock, you haven't even seen him. He's probably fine, you're just angry."

"I have seen him," the boy insisted. "I followed her yesterday when she went to meet him on her lunch break. I don't like him."

"You like very few people, little brother, and you're hardly likely to take kindly to the person who's about to take away someone you care about. It's only natural. But it's no excuse for this sort of behaviour."

"She's leaving," Sherlock repeated, as if this justified everything. He scraped his bow across the instrument again, making a sound that set Mycroft's teeth on edge.

"Yes, Sherlock, staff leave, that's just what happens. She's moving on with her life. You're eight years old, that's really too old for a nanny in any case. And stop doing that, you'll damage your violin."

Sherlock scowled again and delivered a hefty kick to the chest of drawers before returning his attention to the bow. Mycroft groaned.

"You haven't seen him," the boy muttered darkly. "I'd know if it was just me not liking him. I hated him even before I deduced they were going to get married. As soon as I saw him I knew. He's...bad."

"Yes, all right," said Mycroft. "Whatever you say. When you've stopped behaving so appallingly, come downstairs. You need to apologise to Colly." With that, he turned and left the room.

Colly remained at the house for two more weeks, during which time Sherlock's violent sulk waned into quiet contempt and finally a strange, mellowed acceptance. He was still cold towards her but seemed not to be able to sustain the anger - he claimed this was because he simply did not care. Mycroft knew that wasn't true, but didn't argue.

The day of Colly's departure dawned, a Saturday, but still Mycroft hardly saw Sherlock all day. He assumed he was out conducting some insanitary experiment in the grounds, or devising a particularly horrid trick to play on the cook, but either way he was nowhere to be seen until three o'clock, the time at which Colly was set to leave.

Mycroft was standing near the car, Colly just about to get in, when suddenly a whirlwind of gangly limbs and black curls came flying round the side of the house and threw itself at her. She looked faintly shocked but pleased as she wrapped her arms around the eight-year-old. Mycroft found himself oddly moved by the sight. It was very rare that Sherlock displayed such emotion.

They stayed there for a long time. Mycroft didn't really concern himself with the niceties of social convention when it came to physical contact, but after some minutes had passed, he thought himself justified in thinking this was extensive.

Finally, Colly managed to disentangle herself, bent down and held the little boy's face in her hands. "Goodbye, Sherlock. Remember, you can write to me whenever you want."

Sherlock nodded, and stared at her, as if trying to commit every detail of her face to memory.

"I..." Colly began, then stoppped. "All right. If you're not going to say goodbye." She raised her eyebrows.

Sherlock gave a shuddery sigh. Mycroft guessed he was going for 'reluctance', but it came out as 'trying not to cry'. "Goodbye," he mumbled.

"Thank you." She dropped a kiss on his forehead. "Goodbye, Mycroft," she added, waving at him over his brother's head. Mycroft nodded and raised his own hand.

She got in the car, and continued waving at both of them as it drove away. Sherlock did not move from his position. Mycroft went to stand next to him, and rested a hand on his shoulder. "Come on, little brother. Let's go inside."

About twenty-five years later, Mycroft Holmes was sat uncomfortably in the dentist's chair when he felt his phone vibrate in his jacket. He raised his eyebrows and fished it out.

Am on way to Florida. Murder trial. Told you Colly's husband was a bad man. SH

You should really start calling her Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock. MH

You should really stop telling me what to do, Mycroft. SH

Mycroft smiled, and returned his phone to his pocket.