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Summary: When he hit the ground this time, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and was about to begin climbing again, only to have Mycroft drag him away. Mycroft was not impressed; Sherlock's excessive bleeding had ruined his new shoes. Mycroft reflects on his little brother.

When Mycroft was seven years and 2 months old his mother went into hospital, for no negative reason apparent to the naked eye, though seven year old Mycroft would thoroughly disagree. Shortly after his mother returned from hospital with a bundle, wrapped in white cloth and remaining surprisingly quiet. Sherlock Holmes.

When Mycroft was seven years and three months old, he was offered, for the first time, the small (though slightly bigger now) bundle to hold. What a great honour in the eyes of his parents, to be able to hold the precious Sherlock. Mycroft declined the offer.

When Mycroft was seven years and five months old, the medium sized bundle was forced into his arms, following a great deal of rushing around, and limb flailing (his mother was late for an important meeting and the nurse was pre occupied), this was the first time Mycroft really saw Sherlock: the bright blue eyes and curly hair, and strangely sombre expression for a baby. Sherlock Mycroft thought with disdain.

When Mycroft was fifteen years and eight months old, Sherlock was climbing a tree in an effort to reach a high placed bee's nest. The boy was fascinated with the creatures and was determined to learn more, and a Sherlock was prone to do, he would go to any lengths in his mission to acquire more knowledge. And, as little boys are prone to do when they are climbing trees, he fell. He broke his arm, and as Mycroft helped the small boy up he realised that he was not crying, or wailing or screaming, his lip did not quiver and the small child of ten stayed as impassive as ever. The boy refused to show any kind of emotion. And as they walked away from the tree, Mycroft holding Sherlock up, the ten year old mentioned in a conversational tone that he must "better ascertain the correct way to scale the old oak tree." Mycroft ignored him.

When Mycroft was fifteen years and ten months old, Sherlock was climbing a tree. This time the small boy was on a mission to acquire more information on the ascension of trees using only hands, feet and the trunk of the tree in question. And again as any small Sherlock is prone to do, the boy ignored all the voice of reason (Mycroft) had to say. The cast from the first tree climbing incident had been removed mere days before, and Sherlock was eager to further his understanding of tree climbing. Sherlock refused to listen to his older brother, so Mycroft looked on with worry hidden by a haughty expression as Sherlock once again fell gracefully from the branches. When he hit the ground this time, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and was about to begin climbing again, only to have Mycroft drag him away. Mycroft was not impressed; Sherlock's excessive bleeding had ruined his new shoes.

When Mycroft was twenty-eight years and three months old he was summoned by invite to Sherlock's flat in central London, under the premise of having tea and biscuits and a social catch up. Mycroft was not fooled, not once had he and his brother spoken since Mycroft had left for university. It was quite obvious that Sherlock wanted something from him. Upon his arrival, Mycroft was welcomed by a dingy flat, uncomfortable chairs and luke warm tea. The promised biscuits were nowhere in sight, and Mycroft reflected that he should not have been so optimistic. Silence reigned for nearly an hour, before Mycroft, fed up by this point, opened his mouth to ask why his brother had invited him here. Said brother promptly stood up and walked out of the room before he could say a word, and only when Mycroft was about leave himself, did Sherlock return with a box in his arms, he placed it in front of his brother. Inside the box were packets of white powder, bottles, syringes, and a tourniquet. Sherlock rolled up his sleeves, quietly and quickly, business like and held them out revealing the track marks that littered the pale skin there.

And only then did Mycroft recognise what this was; this was Sherlock, asking for help.

When Mycroft was twenty-eight years and four months old, Sherlock was in the guest room at Mycroft's flat, shivering, paranoid and vomiting. Mycroft had long since given up trying to talk to Sherlock and had decided to wait it out, until Sherlock was of a more appropriate mindset to talk calmly and think rationally. Mycroft had also given up trying to explain to the man what poultry below room temperature had to do with giving up his vices, and the phrase "cold turkey" now remained unused and unexplained to Sherlock. Maybe later, when Sherlock was of a better frame of mind, would Mycroft attempt to explain the etymology and meaning of the phrase. But now was most certainly not the time.

When Mycroft was thirty-four years and seven months old, he saw Sherlock walking down the street in London, they approached each other, stopped, nodded to one another and Sherlock removed the cigarette from his mouth before proceeding to roll up his sleeves and show Mycroft the skin there. And Mycroft was happy to see that no new track marks adorned his little brother's arms. It was a fleeting moment, but it made Mycroft feel needed.

When Mycroft was thirty-six years and eleven months old, he saw Sherlock on the underground. They looked at each other nodded, and Sherlock rolled up his shirt sleeves to show Mycroft his wrists. There were no new track marks. There was, however, two nicotine patches side by side. Only then did Mycroft realise that Sherlock held no cigarette, Mycroft raised an eyebrow, as he returned his gaze to his little brother and Sherlock shrugged, as if to say that he was quitting 'one patch at a time.'

When Mycroft was thirty-eight years old exactly he saw Sherlock again, Mycroft was loitering around a crime scene at a school in London. He knew his little brother would be present, and thought it had been long enough since there last encounter to check in with him. As Sherlock walked towards him laughing side by side with a Dr. John Watson, Mycroft noticed that his brother looked a lot more optimistic than he ever had previously. And when Mycroft pulled his brother to one side privately, Sherlock rolled his sleeves him to reveal no new track marks, and no nicotine patches. And Mycroft was happy for his little brother.

But that changed nothing, and his little brother, was still his "little bother"

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