As a public announcement notice, after last time's crazy author's notes, I have hearby been ordered to stick to plain old ordinary ones this time.
So, here we go: Disclaimer – Sherlock and all related things do not belong to me, but to Steven Moffat, Mark Gattis, the BBC and Arthur Conan Doyle. I do not own anything.
Yeah, soooo… ordinary is so boring! HI! It's so amazing to be back again! How is everyone? Did you miss me? I missed you! In fact, you guys are the reason I'm back in fact, I miss you lovely people and these awesome characters tonnes and so, here I am! However, a special message here to give ultra-huge thanks to a star reviewer and fanfictioneer, the absolutely amazing Cainchan, for messaging me in inquiry for a sequel and getting me motivated to go through with it. Also a special thanks to the people who took part in the poll on my homepage, you lovely people! After a few people mentioned during Never The Twain shall Meet that they wanted to know more about Sherlock's father, I was pondering the idea, started toying with it a few months ago and now here I am writing it at last! I have to admit, I'm trying to slot back in as best as I can but I'm really really nervous to be posting again since I had a wee bit of a knock to my writing confidence shortly after Never The Twain and subsequently have been scared of the post button XD But, here I am, with help from fellow Fanfiction peeps, so forgive me if I'm blabbering nervously a little here XD Anyway, I hope we can have some fun and I hope you guys enjoy! Oh, and P.S. With Sherlock's shocking conclusion, I have to say that plans to kidnap him are, at the moment, difficult. But finding him is just as fun a prospect. Let the games begin -_- Oh, and by the way, the flying monkeys send their regards. We have missed you so much!
Anyway, on a more technical note, I really hope you enjoy this chapter, I must have wrote it about 6 times :S As well as this, I'm gunna make this story as open to you guys as I can, like last time, and even though I have things already planned out for where this is going, if there is anything you really want to see, get explained from last time or want to happen, then I'm sure I can oblige! There are also hopefully going to be more flashback scenes, this first chapter being one of them, describing the Holmes' childhood, explaining Mother-dearest's hate for Sherlock and introducing Sherlock's father, so I hope you guys don't mind them too much :S
Anyway, I hope we can have some fun and I hope you guys enjoy!
Oh, and P.S. With Sherlock's shocking conclusion, I have to say that plans to kidnap him are, at the moment, difficult. But finding him is just as fun a prospect. Let the games begin -_- Oh, and by the way, the flying monkeys send their regards. We have missed you so much!
A warning also about this chapter: This chapter WILL contain mentions of child abuse, so please do not read if this causes any distress, discomfort or offence and please feel free to message me if you think that it is not appropriate. Anyway, enough babble, here we go guys!
Anyway, enough babble, here we go guys!
"Mycroft, Mycroft, come over here!"
Mycroft looked up from his book, Government and Politics for the young scholar and looked over to Sherlock. He was sat on the floor, Mycroft's laptop on his knees, his legs crossed as he leaned over the screen. He'd taken Mycroft's laptop, ignored Mycroft's protest and logged in easily, apparently finding his password easy enough to decipher. Seven years old and he can still hack into my laptop, Mycroft thought. He had decided to let Sherlock off with borrowing his laptop for the time being, even though he didn't approve of his brother using it at his age. Then again, as a kid, he had used father's computer in the studio to look up maths problems, the news, anything. The internet was a revelation to him, all the information he could grasp at his age in one place. That didn't stop him from planning to take the laptop from Sherlock after a few more minutes or so.
He looked back to his book.
"You're not supposed to be on that Sherlock," Mycroft said, "it's mine." He caught Sherlock glare at him from the corner of his eye and almost smiled. He looked ridiculously petulant even from the limited view Mycroft had of him.
"Thanks, mum," Sherlock pouted sarcastically, then looked over at him with a childish expression, "you use dad's computer"
"So? That's dad's. That one's mine and you shouldn't be using it," Mycroft said.
"Not fair," Sherlock grumbled and Mycroft did smile at that. Sherlock was the smartest seven year old Mycroft had ever met and that wasn't just because he was his brother. He read like no young boy Mycroft knew, could work out his brother's password with ease (and that wasn't just because Mycroft was fixated on the Secret Service at the minute, Fort Monckton was a good password) and Sherlock soaked up information so quickly it was jarring. It reminded Mycroft of himself at Sherlock's age. Which was not the most placating of thoughts.
"Mycroft, come on, come and have a look at this," Sherlock whined. Mycroft rolled his eyes and sighed, putting his book down on the little table next to him.
"What?" Mycroft said, lifting himself from the chair and crossing over to sit by Sherlock.
"Look," Sherlock said, pointing at the screen. Mycroft leaned over and quickly scanned the screen. Woman, 24 commits suicide at home. He frowned.
"Sherlock, what are you doing looking at this?" Mycroft said. His stomach had dropped the moment he had read the words as his mind immediately turned to the worst conclusion.
Sherlock was smart, incredibly smart, even when compared to his older brother but Mycroft had never worried about that. It was okay for Sherlock to be that smart, for their family, it was almost normal. It ran in the genes. However, up to press, Mycroft hadn't worried about the other thing that ran in the family. The other thing that Mycroft didn't ever, ever mention to Sherlock, no matter what. So far, it hadn't been a problem. Until today. He took in the article, the image of the crying family, the bumbling interview with a police constable and knew, instantly knew, that this was it. The other thing. The darned curiosity with the macabre, the unusual and the potentially dangerous. It wasn't a trait that started with mother.
In his head, Mycroft always remembered when mother was pregnant with Sherlock, even though he had only been a young boy at the time. She had been humming in the kitchen, the radio playing as she made breakfast and Mycroft had been sat eagerly at the table. He could still smell it, if he tried, the sweet scent and the oil in the pan and the air freshener Mother always used. It only took the smallest things to please a toddler; a plateful of pancakes and unhealthy amounts of syrup and it was like the world was perfectly where it needed to be. He'd been oblivious to everything else until Father had come home from work, shrugging off his jacket onto the chair and turning the radio down. Mycroft didn't know why Father hated Mother dancing in the kitchen but he always turned the radio down when he came in.
"God awful case," he'd snarled, snatching up a slice of toast from Mother's plate and chewing at it, slipping off his shoes, "Guy was killed in an alley by a pub and you would not believe the mess I've just had to-"
"Robert!"Mother had cried at that point, gesturing to Mycroft, who was sat innocently listening, nibbling on his pancakes. He could never be one hundred per cent sure why Mother was yelling, it was adult things and Mother told him not to worry about it, but at six years old it was a pretty simple enough deduction to make that she was worried about Mycroft hearing gruesome things. Father worked in the police force, in a high up job that Mycroft was proud of him for. Yet Mother never liked him talking about the gory ones. Mycroft knew that she didn't like to hear about them herself and that was why he knew that he hadn't got the gene from her.
After that the memory descended into the same pattern that many memories did and between pancakes and air freshener, there was the ever present yelling, the adult stuff that Mycroft shouldn't understand but is pretty sure that he does, Mother telling him to go to his room, thump, an ominous bump from downstairs that's still audible from where he's eavesdropping on the stair steps.
Mycroft knew that the gene was in the family, but that didn't mean that Sherlock had to have it too. He'd read it in a book when he was seven, all about dominant and recessive alleles in a DNA strand, all of which had confused Mother when he tried to explain it to her, so instead she had continued cooing at the cot with Sherlock snuggled inside it, calling him "adorable" and "beautiful" and then putting Mycroft on her lap to read to him. The memory was old and Mycroft wondered if the inherent sadness in her had always been there or if he had added that in later. A lot of time had passed since then, time where Sherlock had grown and Mycroft had looked after him. And that was just it. Mycroft, never Father, who had never had time for Sherlock, or Mother, always in hospital because she was "sick", but Mycroft just laughed at that because bruises don't come from being sick, they come from being hit. It wasn't rocket science and it was a reason whyMycroft had never let Sherlock eavesdrop on their parent's arguments, instead, convincing him to play with him, even if it only made Sherlock all the more suspicious.
It was Mycroft that had made the pancakes in the mornings on most weeks. He'd packed Sherlock's bag and took him to his first day at school and said that if anyone bullied him, they'd be answering to him. It wasn't that Mother didn't want to look after Sherlock but when she was home it was difficult, strained, ever since Mother and Father began arguing. It felt like a game of pretend to Mycroft sometimes, playing mother, with Sherlock's happiness in the balance. Not to mention his safety. For years Mycroft had kept him away from talk of murders and news on TV but Sherlock wasn't an ordinary kid and parental controls on the TV just didn't cut it anymore.
Now it was all over. As Mycroft stared at the report of the woman's death, his heart sunk. He had failed. For all his concern for Sherlock's safety, for all his wishes that Sherlock wouldn't go anywhere near the route Father was on, he'd done a poor job at showing it. Inside, he could feel the spark of intense curiosity he had trained to keep at bay as he saw the blatant flaws in the investigation and knew that Sherlock would be feeling the same. If Mycroft knew Sherlock like he thought he did, he could already guess what was happening. Sherlock was getting interested, wanting to be involved and, worst of all, getting involved meant danger. Not least because Sherlock was only seven and already looked like he was raring to go out and prove his case. The gleam in his eyes was terrifying and utterly recognisable. Father always had that look, when he had a case, a puzzle to solve. A problem to fix.
"Have you seen it yet?" Sherlock asked. Mycroft kept his composure.
"You shouldn't be looking at this Sherlock, it's bad for you," Mycroft repeated, ignoring Sherlock's question. Sherlock glowered at him.
"It's just the news, Mycroft," Sherlock scowled, "Everyone reads the news." Mycroft resisted the urge to say that "everyone" didn't usually include seven year old boys and that reading the news usually consisted of a newspaper and some kind of hot beverage but with Sherlock being as technology loving as he was already, that rule apparently didn't apply to him. Sherlock turned the screen a little so he could point at it, allowing them both a clear view.
"You've seen it right?" he asked, "The mistake? Right here" He pointed at a line of text. Mycroft didn't want to encourage him, yet he wasn't sure exactly what he should say to deter him. He could see the mistake as plain as day. He didn't want to say so, in case it encouraged the boy but then keeping quiet only meant giving him an opening to brag and Sherlock did that plenty already. In the end, he settled for a quiet nod.
Sherlock looked a little put-out that Mycroft had seen it too but he quickly recovered. "So?" he said.
"Well, we should tell the police right?" Sherlock said, exuberantly. Mycroft gave a snort of laughter. His brother, who played Pirate on the staircase and read books on GCSE chemistry, was playing detective. Mycroft had half expected the magnifying glass to come out and a secretive coat like the ones in the old movies they watched together, where the hero was always a Byronic one, with their coat collars turned up and always one step ahead of the villain.
"Sherlock, I don't quite think that they'd listen to you," Mycroft laughed, "You do know how old you are, don't you?"
"Father is in the police force," Sherlock said, "I could ask him"
Mycroft stiffened at that. Their father didn't pay attention to them at the best of times and Sherlock especially seemed to be practically invisible to him. And yet, Sherlock still had blind faith in the man, always searching for his approval, something that Mycroft had given up on a long time ago. It didn't matter if father acknowledged Sherlock or not, the younger Holmes hunted after his attention like a puppy seeking a treat.
"Sherlock, father is busy," Mycroft said. It wasn't a direct lie, which made him feel a little better.
"But Mycroft, it's so obvious! She left the cat inside the house without food! She didn't open a window or the door, she just left it! She loved that cat more than anything Mycroft; she'd never commit suicide if she thought-"
"I see the mistake too Sherlock, but there's nothing that we can do about it. Father is busy and even if he wasn't, he can't open a murder case on an idea about a lost cat from a seven year old boy," Mycroft said. It came out sterner than he had hoped and he pushed down guilt at the puppy eyes his brother gave him. The last thing he wanted Sherlock to do was start getting involved with the police and put himself in danger, his own little brother putting himself on the line for corrupt police officers and normal people.
Sherlock looked moodily at the article; his brain practically audible as it whirred and turned in its thoughts. Mycroft watched him, seeing part of himself in the small boy. They didn't look so much alike and Mycroft wondered if that would change as they got older, although he doubted it. Sherlock was often coming down with colds and flus that stopped him from eating, making him grow thin and pointed, whereas Mycroft was putting on weight as he got older, beginning to style his hair too as he gradually got older but he couldn't see Sherlock doing that. Mycroft clasped his hands together, looking at the computer screen, a habit that he had picked up from looking at father. Sherlock raised an eyebrow at his movement but he quickly returned his attention back to the screen, looking morosely at it.
"We could catch the killer ourselves," Sherlock said, both tentative and excited at the same time.
Mycroft laughed, his chuckle serving only to make Sherlock more petulant but he couldn't help it. His brother was downright adorable sometimes.
"Since when did you want to be a detective?" he asked. Sherlock frowned.
"I don't. I just want to catch the man who killed her," Sherlock said, "It's a puzzle." Mycroft raised an eyebrow at that. Sherlock's voice was unsure, like there was more to the story that he didn't want to mention.
"And?" Mycroft said, prompting him to continue.
"Well… I don't know, don't you think she… her family, deserves justice? For what's happened?" Sherlock said. He said it like it was obvious, like Mycroft should have already filled in that part for himself.
After years of watching father and mother tearing each other apart, visiting a bruised mother in a hospital and looking after his little brother in an empty house, Mycroft had preferred to cut himself off, sealing his emotions away. It was easier that way, a necessity. Father wouldn't see any weakness, mother wouldn't worry and, most importantly, Sherlock wouldn't see him fall apart. That was the most important thing. Mycroft was the man of the house, taking affairs into hand while father drowned in a bottle of scotch while Mycroft played with Sherlock and called back to the bank telling them that the payments would be made soon, putting on an older voice and sending Sherlock out to the garden so he wouldn't hear. It was just easier to put up a wall and not think about having emotions than having to hide them. He simply refused to have them.
The idea of Sherlock being the same, however, scared Mycroft to no end. Sherlock wasn't like that. He was odd, far too intelligent for his own good and often awkward when it came to people, but there was a genuine goodness to him, as deep as it may have been. He saw the better in people, a trait that Mycroft didn't share and even when Mycroft couldn't help but point out the flaws in that, Sherlock had a kind of faith in people. But then again, Sherlock had faith in his father and that didn't work out as splendidly.
Mycroft sighed, pondering the situation.
"The police will have an investigation Sherlock," Mycroft said, "To make sure but past that there really isn't all that much that we can do" Sherlock pulled a face, obviously displeased by the answer and the look in his eyes vowed a return of the subject before long.
"And anyway, if-"
Mycroft span round from where he was sat, eyes immediately hardened against the man who had entered.
"Father!" Sherlock said, scrambling up. Mycroft stayed seating, glaring daggers into the man as he all but ignored his youngest son.
"Mycroft I need those letters," Robert Holmes said, closing the door as he came in, "For the Doctor, he wants to take a look at some things before your mother comes home"
"They're on the kitchen table," Mycroft ground out, "Where I put them when you were-" He wanted to say the word drunk, he really, really wanted to but he couldn't, not with Sherlock in the room.
"In your study," Mycroft finished promptly, ignoring how Sherlock noticed the change in tone and glanced questioningly at Mycroft.
Robert Holmes narrowed his eyes. He wasn't a large man, stronger than he looked due to his time training for the force, but he was not muscular or especially well-built, yet he commanded the room, demanding respect and attention, utter obedience. The most startling thing to notice was how much he looked like Sherlock. He was tall, with a build that was wiry, perhaps a little stronger than Sherlock would grow to be with pointed, astute features and the same piercing eyes that Sherlock had, even at his young age. It was the eyes that were most similar, almost exactly the same and anyone that ever saw them together recognised it. The same colour, the same flecks and spark so that they looked almost like exact copies, like the DNA hadn't changed at all from one to the other. The only largely dissimilar feature that Robert Holmes possessed from his younger son was his hair, which was the same colour as both his children, perhaps a little lighter, but it was combed down into a style that Mycroft had tried to copy at times, neat and professional looking and grown-up. That was the important part. It looked grown up.
Now however, Mycroft only noticed his father's expression which looked at him with what looked like fury at his impertinence. Mycroft didn't flinch from the look and kept steady, defiant eye contact with him, even when his insides were roiling and making him want to take Sherlock and go, as fast as he could. Father had never been violent towards either of them, bar once, when he had taken a belt to Sherlock. Mycroft had taken a hit, across the shoulder, when he had stepped between them, yelling at his father to stop, grabbing at the man's hand. Father had shoved him, thrown the belt across the room and shouted, screamed at him, drunkenly before slamming the door behind him and heading downstairs, where Mycroft knew mother would be. Mycroft had stood there for only a few seconds, between Sherlock and the door, feet still resolutely planted where they stopped his father from harming his younger sibling. His shoulder had throbbed but he'd ignored it, turning around quickly, hands shaking from fear and adrenaline, scooping up the cowering, crying little boy behind him, shushing him and running a hand through the unruly curls, trying to get the boy to stop crying but not wanting him to hear the crashing and the disconcerting thumps from the kitchen.
He felt like that now, felt like standing up and putting himself in front of Sherlock, but he stayed seated, his own form of retaliation and trust in Sherlock intermingled. His father stared a moment longer then looked past him, at the laptop.
"Why are you looking at that?" he said. The man's voice wasn't threatening but it was authoritative, strong, disallowing of any defiance. There was a vague youthful quality to the voice, the man being no older than perhaps thirty years of age, but the tone had lost the spring of youth to it a fair time ago and it seemed to resonate now like that of a Victorian father, strict and course, commanding the attention of his family. It was the kind of tone that dared somebody to disobey, like placing a devil on their shoulder, but then at the same time it warned them of exactly what would happen if they did, the wrath they would receive.
Mycroft looked at the screen and cringed. "Homework," he lied, praying Sherlock wouldn't tell the truth, but of course, he did. He was Sherlock. Always showing off and always, especially, to father.
"It's wrong," Sherlock blurted out. Their father raised an eyebrow and Mycroft felt his stomach twist. Father never paid attention to Sherlock. Never. Not when Sherlock had cried when Mother had to go the hospital or when he had tried to show Father his schoolwork or when he tried to tell him about how well Mycroft had handled the man in the suit and the briefcase who came to the house. The bank, asking for their money, not that Sherlock knew that. So the idea that Father had taken enough time to even listen to Sherlock made Mycroft's skin prickle.
"Is it now?" Mr Holmes said. He sounded almost amused and he walked across the room, taking his time, the air of authority dripping from him. "And how is that?" he said. Sherlock beamed, encouraged and reeled off every piece of evidence he had, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the oldest Holmes. Mycroft hated that look. It was sheer adoration, searching for love from a man that didn't have such a thing, pleading for recognition. He respected Father, adored him. And Mycroft hated it. Robert Holmes was nothing but a bully and a drunk. He wasn't a hero. Yet no matter how much Sherlock saw, got hurt, even, he never stopped looking for it. That one little bit of praise, the pat on the head.
Robert Holmes listened and Mycroft could see it in his eyes. The cogs whirring, the idea that he could use Sherlock. If there was one thing that Robert Holmes did admire, it was intelligence and the fact that Sherlock had solved a case that wasn't even open; it was like a particularly interested programme on the television. Sherlock lapped up the attention, looking practically star struck and Mycroft refused to admit that he was jealous. Not of the attention, but that Sherlock never looked at him like that, despite everything he did, had always done. He was just Mycroft, like he always had been. Just his brother and that was about as far as a seven year old's mind could go, no matter how intelligent they were. When it came to relations, Sherlock was just the same as everyone else, looking for approval from a father who was never there and settling for a brother who always was.
Sherlock looked like he had won the lottery when father raised his eyebrow in approval, taking a look at the article and no matter how good it was to see him happy, Mycroft wished he could tell him. Father was bored. Taking interest in his son for a moment because the whiskey or the scotch and whatever else he was drinking wasn't enough to stimulate his mind for now and the novel crime-solving of his seven year old was more interesting. It was cruel and pathetic and there was nothing Mycroft could do about it. Father just didn't care and that made him angrier at the older man than ever. Not for himself, but for Sherlock. It just wasn't fair. Why was it their family that had to be broken?
Mycroft's head snapped away from looking at Sherlock as he heard what his father had just said.
"Well, it sounds like a good idea Sherlock," he said, "Maybe I could bring it up at the station, eh? Does that sound okay?" Mycroft's rage suddenly hit a height and he stood up, sliding yet again into the familiar space between Sherlock and his father, ignoring how Sherlock's face lit up at the idea of the investigation.
"Can I talk to you?" Mycroft growled. Robert looked at him, eyes narrowed.
"You heard me."
Mycroft watched his jaw clench and he tightened his own fists defensively. Eventually, his father's expression softened incrementally and he nodded, moving to one side. Mycroft turned to smile at Sherlock. "Sherlock, could you go get those papers from the kitchen table? Maybe find an envelope for them?" Mycroft said. Sherlock frowned.
"It'd be a big help to me and father, Sherlock," Mycroft persuaded. Sherlock waited a moment. The only trouble with spending so much time with Sherlock was that the younger boy always knew when Mycroft was lying. He gave him a look that said "Tell me later," before nodding and running off to the kitchen.
The moment he was out of the door, Mycroft rounded on his father.
"What do you think you're doing?" he spat. Robert shrugged.
"Is it a crime to take an interest in the boy? You're always finding him so interesting, I thought I'd see what the fuss is about," he said, "He really is smart, isn't he?" The statement was truthful, honest, but it didn't placate Mycroft. Far too much water had passed under the bridge for that.
"He isn't some fad, father, he happens to be your son, if you didn't realise it," Mycroft snarled and he saw the dangerous flicker in his father's eyes.
"Do not speak to me like that," Father hissed. Mycroft's bravery faltered for a second before he steeled himself.
"Why did you tell him you'd bring it up with the police?" Mycroft demanded.
"I'm going to," Robert said, his voice suddenly open and honest, unnervingly so, "He's right. I would have noticed it myself if I'd looked into that case"
Or if you hadn't been halfway into a bottle of alcohol, Mycroft thought silently.
"He deserved to get his idea recognised, don't you think?" Mycroft felt his anger spark again at that.
"And then what? He grows up wanting to be like…like, you!" Mycroft spluttered, "And gets himself into danger"
"You're over protective of him"
"And you're not protective enough!" Mycroft yelled, barely keeping his voice controlled, knowing that Sherlock would probably be close by, running around trying to find an envelope, "He is seven year old! He's not old enough to be gallivanting around looking at dead people, father! It's dangerous and it's going to get him into trouble and I'm going to have to look after the aftermath of that!"
Robert Holmes looked at him, like he was taking everything in, calculating it, analysing everything he could see ticking in Mycroft's head in a look that was both infuriating and intimidating at the same time.
"I can do what I like with my own son," he said, eventually and Mycroft gaped at him.
"You're toying with him! This is just a bit of fun until mother comes back and then it'll start all over again," Mycroft said, realisation dawning on him. He shook his head. "I won't let you do it," Mycroft said defiantly, "You're not going to get him hurt and you're not going to let him down, like you always do. I'm not going to let you"
His father waited a moment before he gave a small smile. "I'm only showing an interest Mycroft, I never understand why you're so defensive," he smiled.
"Except from the fact that you've beaten him before?" Mycroft snarled. His father's expression changed for a second, only a brief moment, a murderous look in his eyes, before it disappeared.
"That was long ago, Mycroft, you shouldn't keep on bringing it up like you do," he said calmly and then, a smirk crossing his mouth, "And besides… there's nothing you can really do, is there? I mean, not really. The boy would follow me to work if he could. He adores me. Unless you plan on keeping him locked at home, there's not an awful lot you can do, now is there?"
Mycroft blanched and didn't even move as, as if on cue, he heard the door open and Sherlock came in, waving a white envelope. He didn't notice Mycroft's stunned, hateful stare at their father as he turned, smiling at Sherlock, taking the envelope from him.
"There's a good boy," he said, grinning at the young child, making Sherlock beam. The man crossed across the room, opening the door and, with a wave of the envelope, walked out, leaving Mycroft stood, heart pounding angrily as he watched his father leave. Sherlock grinned at him, settling down with the laptop again and typing something in as Mycroft sat, shakily, looking at the door as if fearful it would open again.
He looked at Sherlock. He wasn't going to let Sherlock become like father, never, no matter what.
So, um, that's it guys! Chapter 1! Okay, so it's like the 5th rewrite, so I dunno what it reads like, but if you do wanna tell me, then any and all reviews are welcomed, treasured and flailed over with extreme happiness, so please, if you can spare a moment to review, please feel free to! Also, any issues with grammar I have, don't worry about pointing them out to me, I don't mind :)
Also, for the curious, the title of this fic comes from another Rudyard Kipling poem, in keeping with the other story. It's a poem about a father and son and the journey to becoming a man, which I thought could be fitting :)
Anyway, thank you so much for reading! On and up as they say!