Mycroft Holmes sat in the Diogenes club. The one place where he could have absolute silence. No questions asked. No trite answers needed. Hardly even a glance in his direction. The one place he had safety from his brother's death. He sat in the dark brown chair, feet planted firmly on the ground. His gaze was steady on the words of the newspaper article he read. His eyes were clear of tears, his hands didn't tremble. For all appearances, he was just another of the gentlemen on just another day. He folded the paper and set it to one side. There was nothing in it that he didn't already know.

He wanted to hope. His brother was brilliant, a genius. He knew what was coming. Mycroft had, too. How could they not? Mycroft wanted to think that Sherlock had a plan. That he had chosen the time and place, that there was someone, somewhere, that Moriaty didn't know about who could have helped him. But Mycroft could think of no-one. He wanted to believe that there was some way that his brother had survived. That his own stupid mistake hadn't cost the life of the one person in the world who actually mattered. He wanted to hope desperately.

Instead, Mycroft Holmes slumped forward in the chair, pressed his hand together, and stared blankly at the wall before him, thinking of his baby brother.