When the waiter asked him how he'd like his steak and he didn't know the answer, Mycroft Holmes knew he was in serious trouble.

Anthea took one look at the panic that lurked behind his otherwise calm façade and said, "Mr. Holmes would like it medium rare, please. Baked potato on the side, along with mixed vegetables, no broccoli."

"Just so," Mycroft nodded, handing the menu back. The look of gratitude he flashed her the moment the man's back was turned transcended a verbal expression of thanks.

"Will you manage, sir?" she whispered. "We don't have to stay. I can notify the ambassador."

"I'll manage. But as soon as the bill is paid, I need to go to the Diogenes. Please alert them."

She took out her Blackberry. "Code Red?"

Mycroft placed his hands on his lap so that their quivering was less obvious. "The reddest."

He performed admirably during the lunch with the Japanese ambassador. As soon as the credit card slip was signed, Anthea escorted her boss to the government town car idling outside the restaurant. When the door closed and the vehicle coasted into the Knightsbridge traffic, Mycroft began shaking in earnest.

He and his younger brother Sherlock were gifted with otherworldly mental acumen and deductive ability. They saw and knew more than most, enabling them to rise to the top of their respective professions. But with such brilliance came shadows.

Sherlock's personal demon was boredom. It had driven him to drugs, hedonism, and other self-destructive behaviour. Mycroft, on the other hand, was tormented by stimulation overload. He normally handled pressure well, but around once a year his gifted brain percolated itself into a state of wild panic. The ceaseless stream of observations, deductions, and insights that granted him power over others would now send him into his own screeching, raging inner hell.

It was a crisis that could only be ameliorated at the Diogenes.

Mycroft laid his umbrella across his knees and massaged his temples, but it wouldn't stop- the constant influx of data that beat against his brain and sanity like an angry official demanding access and control. Anthea touched his shoulder as she stared out the window.

"Hang on, sir," she said calmly. "We're almost there."

By the time they were there, Mycroft was vibrating like a tuning fork. He didn't even try to talk any more, not trusting his ability to be coherent. Anthea remained at his side but didn't touch him again, not willing to risk accidental injury.

Which was a very real threat at this point.

As soon as the town car stopped outside the private entrance at the back, four men –the elderly doorman and three younger, huskier employees- stepped out of the club and opened the car door.

"Come on, Mr. Holmes," the doorman said gently, "we'll get you sorted."

When the younger men grasped his arms and Anthea dared to pry the umbrella from his hand, Mycroft did not resist. It wasn't until they were in the tiny foyer that the explosion occurred.

He did not scream or shout: even his short-circuiting brain appreciated where he was, and the rules that governed it. But Mycroft did fight. Viciously.

When the three young attendants attempted to guide him toward his private chamber, he broke free and tried to punch one of them. Anticipating such a move, they grabbed his wrists, pulled them behind his back, and forced him to kneel on the black and white tiles. Anthea flattened herself against the wall, watching anxiously as a fourth employee emerged from the darkened hallway. He bent over the man described by many as the British government and buckled a fleece-lined leather blindfold over Mycroft's eyes.

The elder Holmes brother moaned, allowing the man to slip the thick, bit-style gag between his teeth and secure it behind his head. A pair of black rubber ear plugs followed, leaving only touch and scent as his conduits to the outside world. He struggled when they hauled him to his feet again, but between the four of them, he was hurried to his quarters without incident. Anthea followed, too worried about her boss to appreciate that she was one of the few women who'd ever witnessed the inner workings of the Diogenes like this.

In the room, the fire was fully stoked and the surrounding furniture pushed aside to make way for a padded leather massage table. Mycroft couldn't see any of it: his only focus was on the four men as they began to undress him. He'd exhausted himself during his rebellion out in the foyer, and with fatigue came the first inklings of peace, so he remained still while his expensive suit was peeled from his trembling form, layer by layer, until he was completely naked.

He felt them raise his arms and slide them into canvas sleeves: the black straightjacket. He renewed his struggles, desperately needing confirmation that he wasn't in control here and that all he had to do was subject himself to his experienced handlers. When he actually broke loose and stumbled back, firm hands grasped him, pulled him upright, and confined his arms in the imprisoning garment. Smaller hands slid gently over his face and shoulders and brushed his hair from his sweating forehead.


"You'll be sorted out, sir," she whispered, even though he couldn't hear her.

Mycroft's breath evened out and he bowed his head, leaning into the touch. He did not resist when the men guided him backward and positioned him on the low, padded table. Wide leather straps were secured across his chest and hips. He felt them lift his legs and bend them at the knees to ease pressure on his lower back. Fleece-lined cuffs attached to the table edges were fastened around his ankles, enabling him to hold the position comfortably.

Anthea and the attendants watched as Mycroft tested his bonds. He arched his back against the straps, shifted his arms and legs, and groaned into the gag. The fire's heat on his cheek caused him to turn his head automatically in its direction. His nostrils flared, taking in the scent of burning wood and perfumed silence.

The man who had applied the blindfold and gag beckoned everyone to come closer. Then he mouthed the words: He's calmer. Another ten minutes, then he'll be ready.

I'll stay with him, Anthea responded.

The men nodded. Everyone's eyes were riveted on Mycroft as his squirming lessened and his breathing slowed. Accepting that his immobility was complete and beyond his control, he welcomed the dark silence that now predominated in his head as well as the club. His thoughts still danced about like water droplets on hot metal, but without visual and auditory stimuli to sustain their frenzy, they would soon go quiet too.

The senior attendant eyed the others and jerked his chin in the direction of the door. Then they all filed out, leaving Anthea alone with her employer.

She glided noiselessly toward him and sat in one of the Queen Anne chairs. Mycroft detected her perfume and raised his head slightly. Her throat tightened in affection as she took in his dishevelled reddish hair, pale face, and bound, naked form. She felt fiercely protective, like a mother with a helpless child.

I'd probably die for him right now if I had to.

The door opened again minutes later. Anthea knew who it would be, but still turned and gave Sherlock a polite smile as he walked into the chamber.

Sherlock would never actually thank Mycroft for the myriad ways his older brother had sustained him mentally, physically (and financially) over the years. He equated such a gesture with grovelling. But when Mycroft's mind turned on him like it was doing now, Sherlock always came to his aid. "It's only fair," he said once, in a rare display of sentiment.

That was as good a show of gratitude and fraternal loyalty as any.

He nodded at Anthea before removing his coat and laying it across one of the chairs. His suit jacket followed. Clad in his deep purple shirt and black trousers, he approached Mycroft's silent form. He spent a minute or two circling the table, arms crossed and pale grey eyes reading the trauma of the last few hours like a book he knew well. Then he stopped, extended one hand, and ran his finger lightly along his brother's lower belly, from one hip bone to the other.

Mycroft stiffened. He raised his head and sniffed the air tentatively, but Sherlock had showered and not reapplied cologne, thwarting any attempt at immediate recognition. Anthea wondered why he bothered: when Mycroft was like this, there was no one else they called.

Sherlock smirked, but his expression remained strangely affectionate. His finger continued its journey down Mycroft's hip and along his left thigh. Mycroft's leg muscles twitched at the gossamer-light touch and his breathing quickened. He shifted on the table, causing the straps to creak.

Sherlock cocked his head. He had done this before, but his scientific brain still experienced a burst of pleasure when he applied a cause and witnessed its immediate effect. Without removing his stare from Mycroft's semi-obscured face, he bent down and gently kissed his brother's upturned knee.

Mycroft cried out around the gag and arched his hips as high as the strap would let him. Sherlock drew back and waited until his body relaxed before reaching into an open carton left on one of the chairs and donning a sleek pair of black leather gloves. Anthea watched, intrigued, as he trailed one finger past Mycroft's nostrils, letting his brother inhale the rich, raw scent that functioned for so many as an aphrodisiac.

The elder Holmes tossed his head back and forth, uttering mangled pleas and twisting his body about in an effort to maintain the sensory connection. Sherlock's judicious use of touch and scent were like flares in the darkness, throwing his thoughts off-kilter before they could overwhelm him again. Smiling, Sherlock slid his gloved hands down the older man's sides, thumbs caressing the skin as he went. When he lowered his head and licked a stripe along the crease of Mycroft's right thigh, mere inches from his stirring cock, the response was cataclysmic.

Mycroft shuddered from head to toe and renewed his struggles with furious intensity. The straightjacket's seams strained with his efforts, and the gag was hard-pressed to contain his moans. Sherlock licked the identical spot on his left thigh and grinned wickedly at the result. Anthea shook her head, conceding that the younger Holmes had a flawless technique. She already knew who taught it to him- the person who now relied on him to remember his lessons well.

Blood rushed to Mycroft's neglected cock, transforming it into a solid, throbbing weight against his belly. All his focus was on his swelling flesh, calming his mind further but sending his body into an erotic frenzy. Sherlock murmured approval deep in his throat and ran the tip of his long pink tongue along the shaft, carefully avoiding the head. When he blew lightly on the resulting dampness, Mycroft eagerly spread his knees as far apart as his position allowed, wordlessly begging for release.

He knew he wouldn't get it. Not right away. There were motions to be gone through, more teasing applications and withdrawals of touch and taste before he'd be allowed to come. He was calmer, but echoes of the earlier crisis still hummed through his brain and bloodstream, and Sherlock could see that. All traces had to be pulled out of hiding slowly and carefully, so that when he climaxed, the mental tension vanished in conjunction with the physical release.

Mycroft felt his testicles being lifted carefully, their hardening weight sliding along one leather-covered palm. He raised his hips off the table again, and was rewarded when fingertips danced lightly across that ultra-sensitive spot above his hole. Each touch jolted another intrusive thought to the surface, stripped it of meaning, and added its power to the growing sexual agitation instead.

Sherlock released him and stood up, watching as Mycroft made small protesting noises. He chewed his lower lip thoughtfully, eyes darting back and forth between the open carton and his brother. Finally he shrugged, glanced at Anthea, and unbuckled his belt. He kept his shirt on, but removed his trousers, pants, and footwear. When he bent toward the carton to retrieve a tube of KY and a medium-sized black dildo, she saw the flared base of an anal plug nestled between his pale cheeks. He'd obviously put it in as soon as the club manager called him.

When Mycroft felt the dildo's slick tip nudge against his hole, his excitement spiked but he willed himself to relax. It slid inside without difficulty, but when fully seated the curved tip settled against his prostate, making him shudder. The movement inadvertently drew the toy further into his passage, sending pleasure shooting throughout his body. His cock slapped against his stomach, foreskin drawn back and smearing sticky moisture across the skin.

Sherlock pulled the plug carefully out of his own body and laid it on a side stand, where he knew from experience that it would be retrieved and cleaned. He climbed onto the table- Mycroft quivered as he detected the added weight- and straddled his brother's hips. As he gripped Mycroft's cock and guided it inside him, the elder Holmes exploded in strangled yells.

Mycroft couldn't help it. Every movement of Sherlock's hips, no matter how fractional, pushed the dildo deeper into his body, touching his very core, turning him from a thinking machine into a fucking one. He screamed himself hoarse, the gag being the only thing preventing other club members from thinking that a murder was being committed.

Anthea was captivated. She'd witnessed similar performances in the past, and monitored enough 'bedroom footage' to cultivate a semi-clinical detachment when it came to sex she wasn't taking part in. But seeing how the Holmes brothers danced together on the table with heavy moans and light touches and deep penetration: the hotness was indescribable.

Sherlock rode Mycroft hard, rocking the table and slapping their skin noisily together. Mycroft couldn't focus on anything except fucking and being fucked simultaneously. It was so much, so much, too much and then he was THERE, coming so hard and deep into Sherlock that even with the blindfold he saw stars. Bright, fiery ones that shimmered and danced before fading away like dying fireworks. On top of him, Sherlock fisted his own cock to a less explosive but still satisfying orgasm.

When the brothers stopped shuddering against each others' heaving chests, Sherlock climbed off on shaking legs and carefully extracted the dildo. Mycroft sighed as it slid out, leaving him wet and open and satisfied. He laid there quietly while his brother and PA unstrapped him, sat him up, and removed the straightjacket. Mycroft took off the gag, earplugs, and blindfold himself and greedily sucked back the cold water that Anthea had retrieved from the bar fridge for both of them.

Sherlock, who was tugging his trousers back on, touched his shoulder. Alright? he mouthed.

Mycroft laced their fingers tightly together and nodded. To Anthea's relief, he looked and acted like himself again, even if Mycroft Holmes didn't sit naked on padded leather benches, hair messy and face sweaty unless his sanity depended on it. She knew he'd be making his dinner engagement with the German delegation tonight, and immediately took out her Blackberry to confirm the reservation at the Dorchester.

While she worked, Mycroft gazed up at his brother.

Yes. Thank you, Sherlock.

You'd do it for me. A wry grin. In fact, you have.

Mycroft smiled to. And I'm sure I will again.

Neither of them doubted it.

A/N: This piece is dedicated to chasingriver, a kindred spirit in that Special Hell.