A/N: So here we are with Sherlock. I have had this idea pinging around my head for a bit based on the little snippet of information that is part of the Mycroft bit further down in the story. It's actually based on an actual event, although I have changed place, name, etc. But the idea remains the same. I hope you like it. There won't be too long a wait for the second bit, this was just too perfect a place to break it.

A/N II Happy Birthday Merisha

Case of the Burning Heart

It Begins

It was finally quiet, after three days of non-boring activity, it was finally quiet. John sighed as he poured the last drops of milk in his cup. The lack of boredom on Sherlock's part had resulted in the destruction of a car, four bodies and completely annoying Lestrade. Sherlock was thrilled and had even agreed to remain unbored long enough for John to go to the shops and replenish their dwindling supply of food. They had no milk, no coffee, a tiny crumble of stale bread and no tea. Even the flies that haunted the kitchen, compliments of Sherlock's experiments, had deserted them for lack of food.

"I'm off to get food in a few minutes," he said.

"Huh, good plan," Sherlock said, standing.

"What are you doing?"

"Coming with you."

"I'm just going to the shops, Sherlock. Pretty boring."

"I like shopping."

John narrowed his eyes. "Since when?"

"Since now."

"Okay, but no badgering the butcher about dismemberment, no following random people in case they might shoplift."

"He did shoplift." Sherlock waited. "He did."

"Okay, yes, he did, but the store has security." John laughed as they went down the stairs.

"Not very good security," Sherlock replied, laughing with him.

"Of course not," John said. "You will behave? I can't go back to three stores now, you know, pretty soon I am going to be banned from all of London."

"They just don't appreciate help."

"Sherlock, I'm serious." John tried to sound firm, but his friend had that happy gleam in his eye he got when he was looking forward to going out and maybe stumbling over something new. It was a look it was hard to say no to. "I mean it."

"I know you do." Sherlock grinned. "Fine. I'll behave."

"You better."

"I will."

John couldn't help laughing at the pathetically earnest face Sherlock turned on him. It still amazed him how Sherlock could become a completely different person with just voice and expression. "Okay," John said opening the door.

They stepped onto the street and Sherlock closed the door behind them. It was cold, even though the sun was shining. John zipped his coat and Sherlock flipped his collar up and they set off down the street in a comfortable silence. They were about half a block from 221B when someone turned the corner and started walking quickly towards them.

"Burn the heart out of you!" the man cried.

In a jumble of things that tumbled all together, John felt Sherlock moving, trying to shove him aside, he saw the gun appear and he felt a dull thump. John was falling not really sure what had happened, Sherlock caught him, one hand pressing against him. The color was gone from Sherlock's already pale face. He was speaking, but the words made no sense and suddenly John knew what had happened. He'd been shot. The fact he didn't hurt meant so many bad things. He reached up and grabbed Sherlock's coat, even as Sherlock continued to press on the wound that should hurt but didn't. He saw Sherlock glance up, then back at him.

"Don't die," Sherlock said.

John wished he could answer, wanted to say so much, but when he tried blood bubbled over his lips. He kept his eyes locked on Sherlock's for as long as he could.

It wasn't long.

XXXXX

"You leave this to me," Mycroft said.

"No," Sherlock said calmly, his eyes fixed on a fly working its way across the wall. He'd kept his hand on John's wound as he'd dialed for help with his other. Mrs. Hudson had come out and stood beside him, weeping, as they waited for the medics to arrive. The assassin was dead, one look was all Sherlock needed to know the man had taken cyanide the instant he'd fired the shot. There had been no point in examining him—there would be nothing to identify him. In fact, even as he knelt beside John, his hand over the sucking wound on his chest, he'd noticed the shooter had no tips on his fingers, all ten chopped off at the top joint.

"I have people trained to deal with this." No one else would notice the small under current in Mycroft's voice, but Sherlock did, and his brother was right to worry.

"I know." The fly had stopped and was rubbing its forelegs together almost as if it were anticipating a large meal.

"Then leave it to me."

"No." Sherlock repeated. They were standing outside the hospital. John was still in surgery, in the hands of the best surgeon that Mycroft's name could supply, which was the best the country had to offer. It had been two hours. Sherlock had tried staying in the surgical waiting area, he'd lasted an hour and fifty-four minutes, but there was a woman that would not stop crying, and a child of twelve playing some hideous video game that was full of gunshots, and his mother would not make him put the headphones on.

He was not surprised to find his brother waiting when he stepped outside.

"Sherlock." Mycroft turned to face him, there was a tremble at the corner of his right eye. It was always one of his tells. "You can't go after whoever did this."

"I know who did this," he replied, still calm, watching the tic at the corner of his brother's eye become more pronounced.

"My people can act faster."

"I doubt that." Sherlock wondered if John would want him to call Harry. He knew they didn't get along, but would he want her to know? If John were there he would ask, John was always good with those kinds of questions. That thought gave Sherlock the oddest twist in his chest.

"I am not you're enemy, Sherlock."

"No, you aren't, but he is." Sherlock smiled. "He is your enemy, which is why you're here."

"This can't be handled wrong."

"It won't be."

"We need him brought in for questioning."

Sherlock felt a smile tug at his lips, it was cold and he knew if John were there, his friend would be worried about the smile. Mycroft knew him well enough to be equally worried. "There won't be anything left to question when I find him."

"That is unacceptable."

"Yes, I'm sure it is." He was about to say more when his phone beeped. He looked down at the text. "Is he dead? JM" Sherlock put the phone back in his pocket and looked at the pavement for a moment, then back up at his brother. "I can't. No matter if John lives or di … dies, Moriarty is paying for this."

"And I can't let you do that." Mycroft was trying to keep his face still. Sherlock could see the tension in his jaw muscles.

"The game then, brother dear, is on."

"I mean it," Mycroft called as Sherlock turned and walked back towards the entrance.

Sherlock paused long enough to look back, long enough for Mycroft to get a good look. His brother took half a step back, almost as if he had been hit. "So do I," Sherlock said, and walked into the building.

XXX

Mycroft watched his brother disappear through the doors. This was going to be a serious problem. He could feel the tic at the corner of his eye, and knew Sherlock had seen it. Of course he had, to miss it would have been unthinkable—just as he hadn't missed Sherlock rubbing his left thumb and forefinger together. It was his tell, it had been since he'd taken up violin. The fact that is was there was disturbing. Sherlock was not given to nervous twitching, even when he was bored—which was sadly a frequent occurrence. There had been a hope—closer to a half-hope—that calling in Dr. Seekins would be enough to keep Sherlock quiet.

It had worked for less than fifteen minutes.

His people had alerted him to some interesting calls being made in his name within seconds of Seekins arrival at the operating theater. John Watson had been under the knife for half an hour when Mycroft's Swiss Counterpart had called and said that he was curious as to why Mycroft had requested the information be sent somewhere other than his office, but it was on its way. He'd covered, said he feared a leak, and that was enough to satisfy Friedrich, but it wasn't enough for Mycroft. Now he had to track down the information, because he couldn't ask where it was being delivered either. Putting a tail on Sherlock was a waste of time, no matter how good the person was, it would take his brother less than a minute to figure out he was being followed and deal with the problem.

Mycroft was worried. It was bad enough Moriarty was out there. The man had been plaguing him for some time, playing behind the scenes, destroying some very well laid plans. Yes, that was bad enough.

But what was coming was so much worse.

People thought they knew his brother. Mycroft knew the police referred to him as "the freak", John's blog had pushed the image of the anti-social genius to the forefront, but there were very few people who knew Sherlock. Maybe only two, Mycroft was one—and the other was dying, shot down on the street. He'd heard Sherlock refer to himself as a high functioning sociopath, and he was correct in that assessment. They both were. It was why Mycroft was good at his particular job.

Of course there was one problem with sociopaths. If they chose to care about something, all bets were off. There had been an intelligence operative that had worked for Mycroft some years before, and the man was perfectly suited to the job. He, too, was a sociopath and calmly gathered information and killed as needed with no more reaction than other people might have when they picked up a paper and had a cup of tea. Then he'd befriended a street urchin in Karachi. They all had their weaknesses—Mycroft cleared his throat—and Golson had his. When the child had been gunned down in front of him, Golson had systematically destroyed all the members—fifty people—of a terrorist cell. Not because they were a threat to the nation, no, because they had killed the child.

Mycroft had a weakness, but he never thought anything would breach his brother's walls. Laughing mirthlessly, he walked up the street towards the Jag. Never in a million years would he have thought anything would make it through to Sherlock—and something had—and now Mycroft had a huge problem. Simply because as cold as Golson was, he was a fluffy teddy bear compared to Sherlock, fifty men would be nothing if it meant he would get to Moriarty. Tearing down the Commonwealth would mean nothing… Some days he wished he'd taken Farthington's advice several years before and had his brother removed then. It wasn't sentiment that stopped him, Sherlock was useful. And now, now he was loose and bent on revenge.

Yes, it was a rather large problem.

To Be Continued