Title: Never the Same
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: John/Mycroft (established), John&Sherlock (friendship)
Wordcount: ~700
Warnings: TRF spoilers
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, and I do not make any money from this fanwork.
Summary: Post-TRF. John and Mycroft are in a relationship. Sherlock doesn't quite understand.

"Mycroft, you wouldn't believe what happened at the surgery!" John says, walking into his lover's study. "Well, you would believe it. You probably already know, actually. But do me a favor and pretend you don't so I can tell the story."

Mycroft looks up a John from his seat at the desk. His expression is... apprehensive. Mycroft rarely looks apprehensive. It makes John tense. His stomach ties itself in knots.

"What's wrong?" John asks. "What happened? Are you okay? Is Mummy okay?"

"John..." Mycroft gets up and gently leads John over to the sofa. "Please sit down."

"My, you're making me nervous," John admits, though he knows his lover likely already observed this.

Mycroft gently pushes John down on the sofa, before sitting next to him and pulling John into his arms. John... John is terrified. Mycroft is affectionate, often. But there's something about the... the tone of this affection.

"I just want you to know - to trust - that I never lied to you about this," Mycroft says, placing a chaste kiss on John's temple. "I didn't know. Not until a few hours ago."

"Know what?" John asks firmly, pulling back to stare his lover in the eye. "Just tell me."

"He didn't know that I was alive, John," a voice says from the doorway. A very familiar voice.

John slowly turns his head, wondering if he is hallucinating. But no, Sherlock is standing in the doorway. His best friend, in the doorway. His dead best friend. Well, supposedly dead. John leans back into Mycroft's arms, shutting his eyes tight and relying on his lover's strength as he tries to gather his wits.

"Sherlock," he says after a moment. "I asked for one more miracle..."

"I know," Sherlock replies, those sharp eyes taking in every centimeter of John pressed against Mycroft. "I saw you, before I left London."

"I see," John murmurs. "No... no actually, I don't see. Why did you let me think you were dead for three years? Three years, Sherlock! And forget about me - what about Mycroft? Mummy?"

"It was to keep you safe, John," Mycroft cuts in, his voice soft - sympathetic. "Moriarty had a plan in place to have you, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade killed if Sherlock didn't kill himself. Sherlock needed to destroy Moriarty's network, or you would have been killed upon his return to London."

John takes a deep breath, before letting it out slowly.

"You didn't know he was alive?" John asks, desperate for that to be the truth.

"No," Mycroft responds. "My superiors removed me from overseeing anything that related to Moriarty. Conflict of interest. If I had known... I would have told you, John. You must believe that."

John closes his eyes in relief, resting his head against Mycroft's strong shoulder.

"You're intimately involved," Sherlock states, a trace of surprise in his voice. "Sixteen months? John, you met Mummy at the my funeral, but have grown closer since. She gave you that jumper for Christmas - it's cashmere, and flatters your coloring. But still motherly. Mycroft would be more likely to get you a suit."

"Eighteen months," Mycroft corrects.

"Mycroft gives me suits all the time," John mutters. "He took two days off work for Christmas."

Sherlock draws in a sharp breath.

"You believe yourself in love with him," he says to Mycroft, sounding lost.

"I know myself in love with John," Mycroft responds simply.

"But... but I need him," Sherlock responds plaintively.

John slowly disentangles himself from Mycroft's embrace, placing a reassuring kiss on his lover's lips before walking over to Sherlock. His hand clenches into a fist, but the lost look in Sherlock's eyes stops him. Instead, John pulls his friend into a fierce hug.

"I don't have to live with you to be your friend. Or your colleague. You'll just have to deal with even more surveillance and interference from My," John says firmly.

Sherlock's arms tentatively wrap around John in return.

"He's stolen you," he says petulantly.

"No, no he hasn't," John replies. "We've given ourselves to each other. But I'm sure he'll be willing to share my medical skills and ability with a gun. I even have a permit, now."

John pulls away from the hug, looking Sherlock straight in the eye.

"It will never be the same," he tells him. "But that doesn't mean it can't be good."

Sherlock doesn't understand. Not yet. But John knows he will, eventually. He's the most brilliant idiot John has ever known.