"When you said 'holiday,' I admit I assumed you meant someplace more... exotic." Sherlock untucked his scarf from around his neck and draped it over one of the plush looking chairs in front of the fireplace. Of course he had figured out their destination before they arrived at the airport on one of the many private jets Mycroft had access to, but he hadn't said much about the choice out of sheer exhaustion from the flight.

Flying was just so boring. It took most of his energy to keep from finding a parachute and floating down to the ocean for some entertainment. A trip by boat would be welcome, but apparently that was unheard of. Why would the British government need a private cruise liner?

Now that they were settling in, though, he had to give Mycroft credit-their suite was furnished to within an inch of its life with fancy upholstery and posh decor. It was comfortable; as if someone had lifted Mycroft's taste in private quarters and transplanted it into the New York City high-rise.

"Ah, dear brother, I thought perhaps you would enjoy the hustle of the city." Mycroft was undoing the buttons of his own coat, eyes focusing on Sherlock's exposed neck for just a moment. The handle of their over-stuffed suitcase was still extended at his side and once he hung his coat on one of the offered brass pegs by the door, he took it in hand. "Not tonight, of course. I thought we'd retire early and get a fresh start in the morning."

Sherlock watched him go, not failing to notice the glint behind Mycroft's eyes as he passed through the sitting room into the attached bedroom. He didn't ignore the way Mycroft's hip bumped the door open unnecessarily (his hand was perfectly capable of pushing) or how his fingers wrapped tightly around the handle of the suitcase and stroked the downward curve with his thumb. This holiday wasn't for subtleties. No hints or tricks or underlying meanings would fall between them; no hiding.

When he hung his own coat a moment later, he listened to the careful, precise sound of his brother undressing in the next room. The door remained open; not in invitation as had once been implied, but out of simple, unquestionable necessity.

After all, why would a honeymoon suite need two bedrooms?


In the morning, Sherlock sat in his burgundy dressing gown, flipping through the New York Times. His right foot idly slipped itself below the silk leg of Mycroft's pyjama bottoms to stroke at a bare ankle with his toes. Without taking his eyes off the paper, Sherlock watched Mycroft eat a healthy portion of the king-sized breakfast that room service had apparently been commissioned to deliver. Presently, he was finishing the last of a plate of pancakes that had been piled high with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and whipped cream.

"Do tell me we're not going to spend the entirety of these days trapped inside," Sherlock inquired. He was sure they could get up to their own manner of mischief, but he doubted Mycroft would want the attention that the detective's experiments had the potential to draw.

"I thought we'd see a show in the afternoon," Mycroft said, dabbing a bit of cream from the corner of his mouth. His legs shifted under the table, his left curving slightly to tuck his ankle behind Sherlock's. "And we have a reservation uptown this evening. In the between, I thought we'd pay a visit to the Guggenheim. They're featuring Kandinsky again and I know how you have a fondness."

They both knew why Mycroft wanted to visit the Guggenheim, and it certainly had nothing to do with Kandinsky. While it was true that Sherlock favored the exhibition, it was truer still that Mycroft tended to become a shameless romantic when they had the power of anonymity on their side. As such, the man was probably planning a stroll through Central Park as the highlight of his day.


He was right, of course. He almost always was.

They slipped out of the museum not long before sunset and Mycroft had swept him into Central Park before the raven-haired man could protest. When Mycroft twined his glove-clad fingers with his, Sherlock found he had no reason to argue.

In fact, this holiday was something Mycroft had gotten right. It had been so long since they'd last had an opportunity to escape the everyday tribulations of London. Their personal commitments to everything except each other had taken priority for the last nineteen months, and with a flatmate (even one as open-minded and considerate as John was), it was difficult to find a moment of peace.

Even though neither of them desired to be around each other constantly (God, no, Sherlock would throw himself from the top of the Empire State Building before he agreed to cohabitate with Mycroft on anything other than a short-term basis), there was something to be gained from a quiet afternoon or weekend when they could find the time.

Finding the time, however, had always been the tricky part.

At least until yesterday afternoon, when Mycroft had shown up at Baker Street with a half-packed suitcase and insisted that Sherlock was needed for an "urgent matter" and then swept him off to the airport. While packing his half of the suitcase and simultaneously listening to John suspiciously asking Mycroft why he wasn't required to go along, Sherlock had been able to deduce exactly what the "urgent matter" was. Well, if going by the vanilla-flavored lubricant in the inside pocket of the suitcase was anything to go by. Which it certainly was, though Sherlock preferred the mint when given a choice.

As much as Sherlock loved London and as much as he knew he'd never be able to leave it behind, he cherished his time away, and above that he held the time Mycroft could spare to get away with him. They had been to New York City together several times since they began their more-than-familial relationship just before Sherlock's twenty-eighth birthday. Back then, Mycroft had told him that London was too dangerous; Europe was too dangerous. Eyes and ears everywhere; too much of a risk to take.

New York offered them an anonymity that they couldn't get anywhere else. No one knew them here-no one paid any mind to two men walking closely through Central Park, hand in hand. They didn't have any sibling resemblance, after all, and even if someone noted that their surnames matched, most would assume marriage before anyone so much as thought something more taboo.

Their hands tightened in silent confirmation as they started a second loop around the Reservoir.

Sherlock woke around three in the morning. His body was used to two or three hours of sleep, and he and Mycroft had fallen asleep shortly after returning to the hotel. That was practically like sleeping for a week in Sherlock-time. He was spooned up against Mycroft's back, their knees curled together. The very tip of his forehead was pressed against the back of Mycroft's head. Everything felt warm; secure.

"Mycroft," he whispered against his brother's neck. The hand he had wrapped around Mycroft's hip started to inch along the soft skin of his stomach. "Mycroft," he said again, slightly louder, still just as low in his throat.

"G'back to sleep, Sh'lock," Mycroft mumbled. He made no move to stop the hand that was tracing teasing circles on his lower abdomen.

"Bored, Mycroft." Sherlock pressed his lips to the base of his brother's neck. He splayed his fingers at the top of Mycroft's stomach so he could feel the rise and fall with each breath; could figure out if his impromptu arrangement was working. "Wake up."

Sherlock remembered a time when he was eight and Mycroft was fifteen. Christmas had still had some weight for him back then and that year, Mycroft had been nearly impossible to get out of bed. Sherlock had jumped onto the bed and sat on his brother's chest and bounced until Mycroft had no choice but to push him off so he could breathe.

If Mycroft had that tucked away in his mind somewhere, he'd recall it now. He'd remember how persistent Sherlock can be when he wants something.

"This is our second night in a honeymoon suite, Mycroft," Sherlock breathed against his neck. "They put so much effort into sound proofing these walls. Don't you think we should-" He paused, just long enough to nip at the freckled skin below his brother's ear. "-take advantage?"

"Sherlock." Mycroft's tone was warning.

"Bored." If his stomach trick wasn't working, it was time to go in the other direction. His fingers spent a moment preoccupied in the coarse hair just above the waist of the grey silk pyjama bottoms. The solid warmth that met him when his hand slipped further down was proof that his plan of action was certainly working.

It was only the work of minutes before Mycroft had rolled over and pinned him to the mattress.

Now Sherlock was ready to test the sound-proofing. Repeatedly.


On their last morning in the city, Sherlock woke to the sound of the shower running. It was something so basic, but he couldn't remember the last time they'd acted so domestically. A morning shower was so easy, so simple, but it was a modicum of normalcy that they weren't allowed at home.

It was shocking how uncomfortable the sentimentality in his chest felt. There it was, pumping through Sherlock's veins, persistently reminding him that it could be another year and a half before the world stopped turning long enough for them to sneak away.

For now, Sherlock rested his head against the pillow, prepared to wait-whether it was ten minutes for Mycroft's shower to end or six to twelve months for a spontaneous trip to Australia. There were few things he'd wait for. Times like these made up the list almost exclusively.