AN: This is the continuation of the story Seven Percent (Read that first)
Sherlock stands nervously, waiting for his mum and aunt to collect him from the airport. A part of him feels like a child again, minus the cigarette in his hand and the mild tremor that seems to be a residual detox symptom. It's a terrible reminder of weakness, he knows it will dispel eventually, but he could do without it all the same. Quickly he rids himself of his tobacco product, when he catches sight of the familiar dark haired women.
"Bebe!" Madame Holmes greets happily crushing him into a hug, "I missed you so much," she informs him fondly with a sad smile, placing her hand on his face as she takes a good look at him.
"I've been busy mummy," he informs her quietly.
"I can see that," she tisks, moving to hail a cab.
"You look terrible, petit," Vie states aside, knowingly.
"I'm here aren't I," Sherlock shrugs, picking up his sack and following the women.
Back at Vie's Sherlock gets settled and they sit down for lunch.
"What have you been up to in London, cher?" Madame Holmes asks.
"Oh this and that…" he hedges, taking a bite of his food.
"You still doing that consulting thing?" Vie wonders.
"Ya," Sherlock nods, not wanting to draw attention to that, but earning the familiar look from mummy, "Yes…" he corrects himself.
"Sounds exciting," his aunt smiles.
"I think it sounds dangerous," Madame Holmes laments, "I can tell you aren't taking care of yourself Sherlock," she sighs. "If you just found a proper job, you'd meet a nice girl…person," she corrects, "Then I wouldn't have to worry about your absent mindedness…"
"Dull…" Sherlock sighs, "I'm sure Mycroft will find a nice girl to give you fat grandbabies, Mummy…"
"I've given up on your brother, he's married to that retched job of his... Just like your father." She sniffs.
"Not everyone marries, Mar," Vie glares at her sister with a clear warning.
"This soup is lovely, Tata," he quips with false cheer to sway the conversation and prevent his mother from turning on the other woman.
"Ah, merci," She beams, "I'm glad to see you are actually eating."
"You're still terribly thin," Madame Holmes adds, stroking his jaunt cheek motherly. "You're not getting ill are you?"
"No," he shrugs off her touch, "I'm fine."
They finish eating, Madame Holmes heading off other parts of the house as Sherlock sneaks out to smoke. His aunt following shortly after him; he lights her cigarette for her with is silver lighter before she turns on him.
"Out with it."
"Pardon?" Sherlock raises an eyebrow in challenge.
"You may have your mama fooled petit…" Vie sternly waits for him to talk as they continue to smoke.
The young man sighs, knowing there's no way of getting out of this. "It was either the work or the…" he intones robotically and takes a drag, "I chose the work."
"Well, I'm a bit sad that it had to come to that…" She states honestly, "Mycroft's doing, no doubt?"
"No," Sherlock sighs rolling the tobacco stick between his fingers.
"What happened?" Vie asks, rousing the young man from his thoughts.
"Nothing," he tells her simply, tossing the cigarette butt and heading back into the house.
Mycroft's schedule prevents him from coming until Christmas Eve, arriving just in time for dinner.
"How was the trip cher?" Madame Holmes asks as she finishes setting the table.
"It was fine mummy, I'm just glad I was able to pull myself away."
"I know I sound like a broken record, Mycroft, but you work too much."
Sherlock carries the roast into the dining room, "Oh you're here," he greets his brother flippantly.
"How are you Sherly?" Mycroft inquires pleasantly.
"I'd prefer if you refrained from calling me that," he informs the older man, as he places the food on the table.
"What's gotten into you Sherlock," Madame Holmes inquires, watching the cold glares being passed between her children.
"It's nothing mummy," Mycroft assures her, "You know how Sherlock gets…"
"Indeed, we best eat now, we know how you get…" the younger man insinuates as he takes his seat.
"Well, the both of you stop it this instant, it's Christmas," she warns.
Vie enters with the side dishes and joins the table, the woman looking at her nephews in confusion knowing she missed something. "Bon appetite," she smiles through the palatable tension in the room. She starts to carve the roast to serve everyone.
"No.. no.." Sherlock interjects, "Mycroft needs a much bigger portion then that, tata… has to keep up his figure."
"Will you stop this," Mycroft pleads snappishly, knowing full well this was his brother's way of addressing the older man's apparent disregard. "If you want attention, become an actor," he shoots.
"How's Rosemary, brother?" Sherlock asks with a knowing sneer, Mycroft's jaw setting as he shoots the younger man a warning look. "Oh, that's right…" he smirks triumphantly.
"Rosemary Byrne?" Madame Holmes interjects with interest, "I didn't know you where seeing her…"
"I'm not," Mycroft replies tersely.
"Was it you who didn't call around…or was it her?" Sherlock feigns curiosity.
"I can't recall, brother," the older man smoothes airily, "Though since you seem to be in a sharing mood…" he begins, earning a wide eyed look of challenge from his brother. "Perhaps you'd like to inform Tata and Mummy what you've been up to lately…"
"Yes," Vie interjects, "Are there any cases you can tell us about? I'm sure it's quite interesting."
"That's hardly relevant," he seethes, ignoring his aunt, "Blow up any third world countries?"
Mycroft smirks sardonically, "That's hardly a part of my job."
"You don't have to lie for mummy's sake… I'm sure she can handle hearing what you've become."
"What I've become," he iterates with incredulity.
"Enough!" Madame Holmes snaps, breaking her sons out of their verbal sparring. "I do not know what has gotten into either of you," she shakes her head, "Whatever it is you fix it or at the very least pretend to be civil for the sake of Christmas dinner."
"My apologies, Mummy," Mycroft offers, "It was quite childish," he insinuates.
Sherlock nods seemingly in agreement, but with a pout as he observes his brother.
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