Disclaimer: Not mine or I'd have shot Moriarty three episodes ago. Sherlock belongs to the BBC and the original characters etc of course belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This is part of what I'm now calling my 'Mycroft Cares Universe.' Based on the simple assumption that Mycroft cares for his brother and protects him in any way he can. This is set before my story 'On Its Way' right at the end of the episode 'The Great Game'

Summary: As each person is different, so is the way they care for others. Mycroft Holmes isn't the man you would go to when you need a hug, but when the lines are drawn and Sherlock is in trouble, who else could Sherlock rely on?

Okay I know there must be people out there who asked the same question as me at the end of 'The Great Game.' Where the hell is Mycroft and his surveillance? This is my answer to that question.

A/N: I've changed the structure of the pool slightly. In this story, the building doesn't have a roof. I realise Moriarty is a scary man but I doubt that the half a dozen or so snipers he has in the building would be happy to trigger the bomb knowing full well the chances of survival when it explodes would be slim. So in my version, the snipers are on the rooftop of a nearby building, looking down into the pool area.

Thanks go to my ever present beta, who managed with just a few random words and half a sentence, to fix the section that has delayed posting this story by several weeks. To Venea, who with never ending patience manages to encourage, inspire and support me no matter how crazy her world becomes. Hannon le Mellon-nin.


The sound of the phone beginning to ring, shrill in the silence and echoing off the tiled surfaces was enough to make all three men jump, although only one would ever admit to it. Sherlock tipped his head and spoke to Moriarty as if the phone was merely interrupting a meeting between friends.

"Do you mind if I get that?"

Moriarty replied in much the same tone. "No, go ahead." Sherlock nodded and reached, carefully, into his jacket to receive the phone, keeping his aim steady, well aware of the red lights continuing their dance on his and John's chests.

"Sherlock Holmes." John was watching his friend very carefully, and was surprised when, although his expression didn't change, his eyes became more relaxed and softened into something that John thought he recognised as smug satisfaction. Sherlock nodded and pressed the speaker button. John fought the urge to smirk as the voice, unmistakably Mycroft Holmes, permeated the space around them.

"Tut, tut Mr. Moriarty, after everything I've heard about you, I expected something rather more... Imaginative. Anyone can hire a few snipers" There was a click of fingers and the red dots on John's chest, and Sherlock's flickered briefly before settling on Moriarty's chest as one. Moriarty froze, eyes darting around the space as his mind thought up and dismissed escape routes successively. "Unfortunately for you, little brothers are rather more difficult to replace and Mummy is rather attached to this one I'm afraid." Moriarty's face formed a hideous snarl as the realisation that he'd been caught in his own trap dawned.

"This isn't over Sherlock Holmes, you need me and I will burn you. I will skin you both alive!" His face cleared and his tone was suddenly so light he could have been commenting on the weather. "Perhaps you'll make a nice new pair of shoes. Yes!" His demeanour changed to one of childish glee. "And the pet will make a lovely throw rug to wipe them on, don't you think?"

Mycroft's dry tones sounded bored when the tinny sound of the mobile flared back to life. "Is he quite done? I can't see from this angle Sherlock, does he look finished?"

It was Moriarty's chilling chuckle that answered him "Not qui-ite." He smirked in victory as he removed what was clearly a remote of some kind from his jacket pocket. "There's more than one way to detonate a bomb."

John barely had the chance to register Mycroft's frantic voice barking orders at his men "Shoot him!" before he was moving, towards the pool, towards Sherlock. He felt the heat of the explosion across his back as his body collided with that of his flat mate. He could only hope it would be enough to protect them.

Mycroft Holmes watched with barely disguised horror as the structure of the pool collapsed in on itself. 'Sherlock...' The ever-calm voice of his assistant organising rescue teams around him snapped him out of his reverie and he turned to the team of men beginning to dismantle the sniper rifles. "Secure the area. If you encounter Moriarty" Mycroft took a breath and was aware that his voice had hardened when he next spoke, "Shoot on sight."

Mycroft straightened again as Anthea approached, texting on one phone and holding another to her ear. For her part, Anthea tactfully ignored the struggle on Mycroft's face while he reigned his emotions back in. "We've got them Sir, they're being pulled out as we speak and at the moment appear mostly unharmed. Sherlock is a little dazed and Dr. Watson has some nasty looking burns across his back but presently it is believed they will both make a complete recovery. They reached the water, which mostly protected them from the initial blast and a combination of the structure of the pool, a large piece of the balcony railing and sheer luck seems to have shielded them from the worst of the rubble and debris. No sign of Moriarty as of yet but there is a lot of rubble, and with any luck he's at the bottom of it." Mycroft nodded, not holding out much hope for that outcome then turned as the unmistakable sound of several sirens reached his ears. He turned back to Anthea as she continued to hold a conversation on one phone while tapping out rapid texts on another. "They're been loaded into a car as we speak Sir, and the medical team will meet us at your Kensington residence." Mycroft smiled inwardly at the efficiency and intelligence of his PA. Kensington wasn't his closest home, nor his largest, but it had by far the best security of any of his homes in London. He nodded and glanced back at the approaching emergency vehicles.

"Perhaps we should be on our way..?"

Anthea was already nodding, still texting on the device in her hands and heading towards the front of the building, where Mycroft could see one of his cars had just pulled up. "I'll take care of the police Sir. Give Sherlock and Dr. Watson my best." Mycroft nodded briefly as he slid into the car, his mind already on the clean up and hopefully quick recovery of his brother and Dr. Watson.

Mycroft sighed and blinked tiredly at the printout in his hands as he mentally reviewed the day's events. True to the initial impressions of the rescue teams, both his brother and Dr. Watson had managed to escape the carnage mostly unscathed. They had been pleased to hear that, although widespread, the burns on the Doctor's back would heal on their own without any additional surgery. Mycroft almost smiled as he recalled the Doctor's reaction to hearing the burns would scar, he had merely shrugged, looking wholly unconcerned for himself as he darted glances at Sherlock.

"It won't be the only scar I carry for a friend," he had murmured softly, perhaps so Sherlock could choose to pretend he hadn't heard. Sherlock had in fact apparently ignored the comment, though Mycroft couldn't help but recall the way his brother's hand had tightened its grip on the arm of his chair.

The doctor was now sleeping, carefully propped up on one side in a luxurious single bed in the room that had quickly and efficiently been converted into a treatment room by the team Anthea had organised.

Sherlock, by the quick actions of his friend and flatmate, had managed to walk away from the wreckage of the pool with only a few bruises and a mild concussion. He had been given the green light to sleep less than an hour ago, and after much tossing and turning, before finally getting up with a quiet huff, and drawing back the makeshift curtain separating the two beds, had managed to drift into sleep facing John, comforting himself with the steady rise and fall of the doctor's chest as he slept peacefully.

Mycroft had stayed mostly silent, watching the proceedings carefully but intervening only when a particularly nasty wince from Dr. Watson during the cleaning of his back provoked a look in Sherlock's eyes that Mycroft wasn't entirely surprised to recognise as fury. He had moved swiftly placing a light hand on Sherlock's shoulder. "They're only doing their job, Sherlock." Sherlock had nodded and relaxed back into his chair slightly.

"Yes, as were the men you have following my and John's every move." Mycroft had only nodded in reply, resigned to another argument with Sherlock about 'independence' and the definition of overbearing. He had therefore been completely surprised when Sherlock, not moving his eyes from John, had squeezed the hand on his shoulder lightly and quietly added, "Thank you, brother." They had stayed like that until the medical team had done all they could and left quietly. But in that moment Mycroft had dared to hope that he and his brother were beginning to come to an understanding.

All of which made the report in his hand that much more disheartening. James Moriarty had not been found and every protective big brother instinct in his body was screaming for him to lock Sherlock away in a safe location until the madman was no longer a threat. He shook his head slightly, knowing that, even with the calming effect of Dr. Watson, such an action would widen the gap between him and his brother to an

unfathomable distance. One he was quite sure Sherlock would make impossible to traverse. He sighed again. Perhaps a compromise could be reached once Sherlock was awake, in the meantime his own thoughts were doing nothing but running in circles, and thinking himself into exhaustion was helping no-one. He placed the report down as his mobile chirped quietly and glanced at the caller I.D. briefly before answering.

"Is everything taken care of?" Anthea's tired but professional tones answered him immediately.

"Of course Sir, the police have mostly reached their own conclusions, with a little prodding, and neither Sherlock nor Dr. Watson's names will appear in any of the reports. I'm sure you've already received the reports from the search teams and no other casualties were reported, the area is far enough from residential areas that no-one was close enough to the building to be harmed. As for Moriarty's snipers, they're all in custody at our secure facility, though none of them seem particularly talkative, Sir." Mycroft allowed himself a small smirk; that was always open to change.

"Thank you, Anthea. Sherlock and Dr. Watson are likely to be here until at least tomorrow afternoon so contact my..." Anthea's voice was no less professional as she cut him off smoothly.

"Already taken care of Sir, your contractors will be ready to start the job first thing in the morning and Mrs. Hudson has been informed so she won't be alarmed tomorrow. The windows will be replaced to the specifications you requested by the evening at the latest. Depending the arrival of a delivery, it could be much earlier."

Mycroft nodded. "You said Mrs. Hudson has already been informed?"

"Yes Sir, I visited her myself after I left the pool. I believe I have heard Dr. Watson mention that she worries about him and Sherlock and didn't want her to be alarmed when they didn't arrive home during the night. I was able to inform her of the replacement windows, as well as deal with any issues regarding cost and insurance at the same time."

"Very well Anthea, thank you. Barring any major emergencies I won't be in the office tomorrow, so other than monitoring the replacement and any issues with the police, from a distance, you may have the day off."

"Thank you, Sir. See you on Thursday." Mycroft ended the call and rose to his feet fluidly. He could get nothing else done tonight and he suspected he would need to be well rested to argu... reason with Sherlock on the matter of his safety. Mycroft almost sighed again as he looked over Sherlock once more before closing the door softly and making his way to his own room. Little brothers were so much trouble. He smiled slightly. Still irreplaceable though.

The End.

Dear me Myrcoft Holmes is an extremely difficult man to get into the head of. I'm quite happy with the final effect and hope you all like it. If anyone does think he's too OOC, keep in mind that I believe Mycroft truly cares for Sherlock, and he has just watched a building fall on his brother's head. I'm sure that would bring out the sentiment in anyone.