Chapter 4: CCTV
Mycroft shifted his weight slightly before moving to sit down by his younger brother wrapping his arms round him like he use to do when Sherlock was young and had needed the comfort. Things back then had been so much simpler, there hadn't been rivalry back then that had come later when he and Sherlock were teenagers. Yet the hug felt natural, though it seemed like a forgotten memory which stirred in the back of the mind. Mycroft tried to find the words to comfort his younger brother, like he could when they were both children but he didn't know what to say. It had been so long since Mycroft had had to comfort Sherlock and he didn't want to risk losing Sherlock anymore to the tears which streamed down his face.
"Sherlock?" Mycroft whispered quietly into his brother's ear. "Can I show you something else?"
It wasn't often that Mycroft asked his brother's permission before doing something, but this time it had to be Sherlock's choice and not his own.
Sherlock's body stiffened at the touch of Mycroft, it was such an unfamiliar thing. He hadn't been able to stand being in the same room as his brother for years, but now he was being almost hugged by him. It felt right. But it also felt wrong. Sherlock lifted up his head to look at his brother's face. He could still feel the tears running down his cheeks; his eyes were sore and stinging slightly. Sherlock did not dare to rub his eyes, in hope that Mycroft had no noticed the tears that had stained his face.
Almost automatically Sherlock stood up straight, staring down at his brother. He was trying to do his best to look as though he hadn't just broken down. He wanted to look strong and as though nothing in the whole world could move him. Sherlock's hands were shaking worse than ever and to hide the fact, he pushed them into his coat pockets. He wasn't sure why they shook. He'd tried to deduct this many times, but each time he failed.
"O… of course, show me w… what you need to," Sherlock's voice wobbled as he spoke. Another thing he hoped Mycroft might have over looked.
Mycroft watched Sherlock from his sitting position for a moment before pushing himself up, pick up the file which lay on the kitchen floor as he went. He flicked through a few pages, walking slowly towards the kitchen doorway, beckoning his brother to follow as he entered into the living area. From somewhere in the depths of the file, Mycroft picked out a DVD which seemed to have been tucked away in a secret compartment.
"I had to hide this," Mycroft said out loud, though he wasn't really talking directly to his brother as he took the DVD out of the safety of the plastic compartment and placed it in the DVD player, flicking a button so that the TV woke up. Mycroft looked at his brother who now appeared to be standing in the middle of the room.
"You'll want a seat," Mycroft said softly, pointing to one of the chairs. "I'm not sure this is the best time to show you, but John left a message for you in case he wasn't here if you ever returned, not that he really believed that you would. I guess he just hoped that you would."
Mycroft trailed off and pressed the plan button the remote before taking a seat himself.
Sherlock's legs shook as he walked towards the living area; he knew that whatever his brother wanted to show him wouldn't be nice. He wasn't too sure if he could take it, he knew it would be something to do with John. Sherlock took a deep breath, hoping that both his legs and hands would stop shaking.
Looking around, Sherlock noticed that his brother's flat had become his office. The place was littered with yellow sticky notes and documents. Books were piling up around the sofa and on the coffee table. There were some papers on the floor covered in tea, suggesting that Mycroft had spilt tea not so long ago. He had a fire place, which Sherlock thought was a little weird for a flat. But then again, his brother was a bit weird himself. The thought made Sherlock smirk slightly before turning to look at his brother who was rambling something about having to hide a DVD.
When his brother told him to, Sherlock sat on the sofa. He stared at the TV as though it would get up and make a run for it. Sherlock put his feet on the end of the sofa and brought his legs up to his chest. He didn't acknowledge that his brother had sat next to him, all his attention was put on the screen of the TV.
It flicked onto play. I was a picture of John; he was looking into one of the flat's CCVT cameras. He looked worse than he had in the pictures Mycroft had. His eyes were red and puffy, as though he had just finished crying. The sight made Sherlock choke on air, his throat became dry and he hands started shaking even worse. Sherlock couldn't get past thinking that perhaps this was his fault.
Then John started to speak, Sherlock could feel his eyes start to well up. Mycroft eyes turned away from Sherlock, uncertain whether his brother wanted to see him crying or not. Instead he picked up one of the old tattered notebooks on the table and opened it, his eyes briefly flicking up towards the TV screen where John's face could be seen. His familiar voice forming words which meant little to Mycroft that were almost blocked from hearing as he tried to reread through the notes he had made over the past week.
Ignoring his brother's movements and actions, Sherlock continued to stare at the screen and watch the figure that was John pace the flat. At first, Sherlock couldn't really hear what John was saying because he was muttering in a low voice. But as John walked up closer to the CCTV camera it became clear what he was saying.
"…and you can stop spying on me! I know you're doing it Mycroft! For fuck sake! Does no one think I can care for myself?" John nearly shouted this at the CCTV camera causing Sherlock to jump slightly. Every line in John's face had become visible, Sherlock could tell that he had formed three new frown lines and by the thinness of his face it was obvious he hadn't eaten for at least four days. "Everyone's here! All the time! Lestrade is constantly checking up on me! Mrs. Hudson won't stop bugging me about food! And now bloody Mycroft Holmes won't give me an edge of peace!" After saying this John took a deep breath and ran a shaking hand through his messy hair "This is entirely your fault Mycroft! Your entire fault! If you hadn't given that damn Moriarty all that information! S..." John shook his head, as though he couldn't even pronounce Sherlock's name "He'd still be here! Still in this flat, playing that blasted violin of his at 3:00am! Putting heads in the fridge!" Tears began to form in Sherlock's old flat mates eyes. "You know there is one thing I regret! Just one thing I really regret, I never told him… never, not even once. He was my best friend, and now he'll never know that."
Sherlock watched as John seemed to walk away from the CCTV camera; he just sat there and watched, watched John limp away. But then John stopped, in the middle of their… of John's flat and turned around and walked back over to the CCTV. The tall man looked at the face of his old companion, his face had softened and he could see the small lines of where tears were beginning to roll down his cheeks.
"I know you're not dead Sherlock, I know right now you are out there. Out there watching this, I know you are. I never stopped believing in you once; I know you're not a fraud. All those things you did! No one could find that out on the internet. You were one of a kind Sherlock, and no matter how many times people tell me you lied to me, or you were just a fake I will always believe in you. I know there are people out there who believe in you too… I know there are. It was Richard Brooks who was the fraud. That bloody psychopath."
As John said this, Sherlock's vision became blurred as his eyes filled with tears. He believed in Sherlock. Someone believed in him. Quickly, Sherlock rubbed his eyes to clear the water before Mycroft could spot it. He didn't know what to do. What was he meant to do? Sherlock's train of thought got knocked of its rails as John continued to speak.
"What am I saying…?" John turned his back so that his face wasn't visible to the camera. "I saw him… I saw him lying there, his face covered in blood. I felt his pulse. I went to his funeral…" It wasn't hard to deduct that from the tone and the way John's voice shook that he was crying. "He's dead… but he can't be! Sherlock Holmes is too smart to be dead! He can outwit it! He can't be dead."
To Sherlock, John appeared to be having a war against himself. John turned back around and looked straight down the lenses, as though he was looking right at Sherlock. "Just come home Sherlock… please, just come home."
And with that the DVD cut off and the TV turned back to its black screen. Sherlock didn't move, he felt that if he did he would just break down. He didn't know what to do with himself, what was he meant to do? The image of John's tear stained face filled Sherlock's head, leaving Sherlock feeling like a monster. The monster he really is.
"I'm sorry Sherlock," Mycroft whispered, a single tear falling down his cheek. He gently pushed himself up and away from the sofa, walking towards the table whipping away the tear. "I believe you wanted help from British Government. What do you need?"
Mycroft turned to look at his brother who was still sat in the sofa staring at the TV screen. "Sherlock?" Mycroft spoke into the silence.