Ash Remains

A BBC Sherlock FanFiction

Disclaimer [that is totally pointless because, yes, it is; who here actually owns these things?]: Don't sue.

Yes, there's an OC in this fic!
No, it's not romantic MH/OC!
And it's certainly not Pedo!Mycroft — just saying.

The fire was kept going in the hearth in the study of Mycroft Holmes. Every evening, when he finally arrived at his mansion, he would find it roaring away, very much alive. He never saw it being lit, apart from one occasion. He was well aware of who made sure to blow out the fire in the dark hours of early morning, when Mycroft eventually migrated to his private room to sleep, and who also lit the fireplace at least a half-hour before he arrived to ensure that the study would be warm. He did not find it odd, nor did he neglect it. No; Mycroft Holmes knew very well about this fire. He was well aware that, one day, he would get home, walk to his study and sit at his desk or in his armchair by the hearth, and the room would be cold. One day, the fireplace would go unlit, so Mycroft Holmes made sure to take note of the fire first thing upon getting home.

There was only one time he saw the fire being lit; only one time he saw the person responsible for the flames. That was several years ago.

Mycroft had dealt with a particularly draining issue of national security and had arrived at his manor hours later than his usual timeframe. He lingered about the hallways for moments, then unaware of the significance of the flames. He hung his coat in the foyer and his jacket in his room. Then he went to his study, only to pause in the entryway.

A young girl crouched by the hearth, setting up the wood and kindling. The wood pieces were layered expertly, and tinder was placed atop. She reached above the mantel for a lighter and flicked the trigger. A flame burst at the end of it, which she jabbed at the tinder. She looked in a bit of a rush. The girl brushed her fringe to the side and, setting the lighter down, she pulled her long brown hair into a bun. Mycroft watched as she sat back on her heels, watching the fire start up slowly.

She sat there for a while in silence, then got up, brushed herself off, and picked a white box up off the ground. She moved to leave it on the desk when she stopped suddenly.

"Nice day," she acknowledged, placing the box on Mycroft's desk.

"Was it?" said Mycroft, entering his study.

"Very much so."

Mycroft dawdled by the window, looking out as if to entertain this seemingly shallow conversation. "I suppose it was."

"Are days no longer the full twenty-four hours, then?" the girl inquired sardonically. Mycroft glanced her way and smiled saccharinely.

"That differs depending on your definition of the word day," he replied. "Mine is certainly over."

"Am I too late, then?" The girl turned her head towards him.

Mycroft offered no reply. He merely rose an eyebrow. The young girl said nothing more, instead choosing to duck her head and turn and walk out of the study, leaving the white box behind. Mycroft Holmes cast his gaze out the window once again, watching as the girl eventually reached the courtyard and left, off to wherever she went.

After some time, he took his seat behind his desk, eyes landing upon the white box. He stared at it, hands steepled, almost unwilling to open it. But his curiosity got the better of him, and he brought it to him, using a letter opener to rip through the tiny strips of tape that held the flimsy white box closed. He paused for a second, then lifted the top gingerly.

An amused half-smile graced his features.

Mycroft Holmes always did love cake.

Happy Birthday, Father.

Do try to make it to the next.

Your horribly-named progeny,

Maylen Ash Holmes,

Who, let the record show,

now goes by the moniker Ash,

because ash remains

where fire has burned.

I'm not going to pretend this was some amazing work of art. It's something I wrote a few months ago, actually. I don't entirely like it, but it is done and it is ideally -quality, so why not? Reviews are appreciated, but not necessary. Thank you for reading.