Mycroft wasn't exactly focused on the book he was reading. He realized that when he noticed he'd read the same sentence five times now. He glanced at his watch. Four thirty. In the morning. He dropped the book into his lap and pushed his palms together, resting under his nose in a prayer position. Another day had passed without hearing from Sherlock. It'd been just over a year now. The younger man was supposed to be running around the globe, tracking down the rest of James Moriarty's web, one by one. Mycroft had to keep telling himself that if Sherlock had been killed, he would've heard about it.

He would've heard about it.

He would've heard about it.

He started when the doorbell chimed through the house. Mycroft looked up, staring in the direction of the front door. Then he scrambled, moving faster than he could ever remember moving, and throwing open the door.

There stood Sherlock, hunched over and supporting himself with a hand resting on the door frame. He wore jeans riddled with holes and a baggy sweatshirt that looked even worse for wear than the jeans. His hair had been bleached and cut short, making the gash on the side of Sherlock's head even more obvious. His ear seemed to be completely dyed red because of the blood spilling out of that particular wound. Luckily, however, that seemed to be the worst. One eye was swollen shut, his nose looked broken, his lower lip was split, but the gash on the head seemed to far outweigh all the other injuries.

Sherlock's lips quirked up crookedly and he blinked up at his older brother. "Hey, Mycroft," he greeted with a deep tone of false cheer. "How's it going?"

Before Mycroft could reply, Sherlock's hold on the door frame faltered and he collapsed. Mycroft caught him before he hit the ground, suddenly flashing back to the last time Sherlock had shown up on his doorstep covered in blood.

Mycroft had found John Watson after that. Manipulated things so that the army doctor and his brother would meet.

Mycroft pulled Sherlock in the house, practically dragging him to the detective's bedroom. It didn't matter if Sherlock hadn't finished his destruction of Moriarty's web, he decided. It was time for him to go back to John.

A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!