The rain tapped gently on the window, the wind whispering around the house. If Mycroft heard it at all, he wasn't paying attention. He was too busy tapping away at the keys on his laptop to notice much of what was happening outside. A knock at the door finally got him to blink and look up; checking the clock to see it was 2am. Well past the time to go to bed. The knock came again, slightly more timid this time. Mycroft got up almost silently, opening his door as quietly as possible, uncertain who would be knocking at his bedroom door this time of night. His parents would have gone to bed hours before and his younger brother didn't often pay him visits during the night. A small, tear-streamed face stared up at Mycroft.
"Mycroft, I'm scared," Sherlock whispered, his voice was shaking slightly. Mycroft sighed and reached out to take his little brother's hand, pulling him into the bedroom before closing the door.
"It's only a bit of wind and rain," Mycroft smiled comfortingly, a rumble of thunder crackled outside. Sherlock whined, looking up at Mycroft, clearly terrified as the storm rumbled outside. Mycroft wrapped his arms around his younger brother and pulled him into a protective bear hug before picking him up and carrying him to the bed.
"How about I read you a story?" Mycroft asked. Sherlock nodded timidly and crawled under the duvet as Mycroft walked towards the bookshelf to pick out something to read. He tilted his head to read the spines of the books before picking out a detective story. Mycroft knew how much Sherlock enjoyed those rare moments when Mycroft picked one of these stories off the shelf. It was something they both shared, the enjoyment of figuring out a good detective novel. He placed it on the bed next to Sherlock before pulling his chair over and settling next to his younger brother. Sherlock looked at Mycroft expectantly, his eyes sparkling. Mycroft smiled to himself as he opened the book and began to read out loud. Sherlock interrupted every so often but eventually his eyes blinked closed and Mycroft could hear him breathing softly. He closed the book, standing up quietly and putting it back on the shelf, looking back at his young brother before moving to give his brother a gentle kiss on the forehead.
"Sweet dreams, little brother," Mycroft whispered affectionately. He gently tucked Sherlock in before picking up a blanket and lying down next to Sherlock quietly, putting a protective arm around his shoulder. He couldn't help but lie awake for a little while. Listening to the storm as it raged outside. Remembering the night's like these when he was Sherlock's age. When storms still terrified him. Mycroft gently stroked Sherlock's hair, hoping the young boy would sleep better that way. He slowly allowed himself to drift off, keeping his arms wrapped protectively around Sherlock as he did so. Not wanting to let the small figure next to him go for more than a few moments.
Mycroft couldn't help but jerk awake at the sound of his alarm in the morning, switching it off quickly so as to not disturb the tiny, sleeping form of his brother. Mycroft smiled slightly, ruffling Sherlock's curly brown hair gently before aiming towards the shower. He could still hear the quiet tapping of the rain outside the bathroom window, though it was a lot calmer than it had been the night before. Mycroft slowly made his way back towards the bedroom.
"Sherlock?" Mycroft murmured gently as he wandered back into his room, gently shaking his younger brother. Sherlock's eyes blinked awake sleepily, looking at Mycroft confused and unfocused for a few moments before he finally woke up properly. Mycroft gave him a wide smile. "Morning, Sherly," Mycroft spoke softly, affectionately as he looked down at Sherlock.
"Morning Mycy," Sherlock replied, his voice thick with sleep.
"Time for school," Mycroft told him, not bothering to hide the smile as he watched his younger brother slowly wake up.
"Do I have to go?" Sherlock whined, slowly pushing himself up into a sitting position on Mycroft's bed, glad that the storm was no longer rumbling outside.
Mycroft laughed, lifting Sherlock out of bed. "Unfortunately so. Unless you would rather stay at home with father all day?"
"No," Sherlock replied, a little quicker than he had meant to, looking guiltily at Mycroft through wide eyes. Sherlock was terrified of his father, he would never stay at home without Mycroft close by to protect him. Sherlock swallowed nervously, trying not to allow the bad memories he had of his father to surface.
Mycroft chuckled slightly. "Get ready, you have fifteen minutes before we have to go."
Sherlock jumped out of Mycroft's arms, running towards the shower. Mycroft watched him for a few moments before changing and aiming downstairs, packing both his and Sherlock's bags ready for school. He was leaning against the kitchen worktop when Sherlock eventually bounced downstairs, drinking a strong cup of tea before they had to disappear out the door.
"Hurry up Mycroft!" Sherlock complained as he grabbed his rucksack from the counter, throwing an impatient look in Mycroft's direction.
"I thought you didn't want to go to school," Mycroft teased, finishing up his mug of tea and cleaning it up before grabbing his own rucksack. Sherlock stuck out his tongue before bouncing towards the door and opening it going outside and waiting for Mycroft to join him.
"Mycroft?" Sherlock asked, watching his brother as he locked the door to the house.
"Yes Sherlock?" Mycroft replied, turning to catch up with his little brother and take his hand.
"Can I have a piggy-back ride?" Sherlock asked, a little timidly. He was never sure whether his older brother would do as he asked. Mycroft couldn't help but laugh at such a simple request, letting go of Sherlock's hand and lifting him up easily. Mycroft swung him around and Sherlock wrapped his legs and arms around Mycroft's waist and neck.
"Go horsey!" Sherlock shouted through a few giggles, Mycroft obeyed taking giant steps and occasionally jumping up and down with Sherlock on his back as they made their way in the direction of school. Sherlock couldn't help but let out squeals of laughter as they walked, tears eventually streaming down his face from where he couldn't breathe from laughing so much. Sherlock couldn't help but be a little disappointed once they eventually arrived at school, he was still laughing slightly from the piggy-back ride and didn't want it to stop. He enjoyed spending time with his older brother.
"All right, off to school for you," Mycroft said, lifting Sherlock from his shoulders and putting him down. "I'll be here to pick you up later."
"Can't I come to school with you?" Sherlock asked, not wanting to join the rest of his class. "You know I'm smart enough."
Mycroft gave a slight laugh. "Unfortunately not, Sher. Even if I could take you with me, the law wouldn't allow it."
Sherlock pouted, looking stubbornly in the direction of his school.
"And Sherlock, try to behave," Mycroft told him, ruffling his hair before gently pushing him in the direction of his class. "Now go on, have a good day at school."
"Don't forget to pick me up," Sherlock said, beginning to run as he heard the school bell in the distance.
"I won't," Mycroft promised, waiting and watching as Sherlock joined his class just in time before turning to aim towards the college that was a ten minute walk up the road.
Sherlock couldn't help but look over his shoulder as he joined the line, he hated going to school. The classes were dull and boring. Maybe because of the fact that he found it so easy. He entered the classroom silently, aiming towards the back of the classroom and sitting in a corner alone. This was how Sherlock like it; nobody would talk to him here at least. He tapped his pen quietly against his notepad, looking out of the window and beginning to daydream. His thoughts as far away from the classroom as he could get. He'd finally begun thinking about the dream he had the night before before he finally heard his name being called. He looked to the front of the class where the teacher stood, looking at him expectantly.
"Sorry, I didn't hear the question," Sherlock murmured, blushing slightly as he did so as he realised that most of the class was looking in his direction. The teacher never usually called on him, usually leaving him alone. They never usually pushed him for answers despite knowing his was a bright kid. They especially didn't address him in front of the whole class, often taking him aside to ask him questions.
"I was asking whether everything was alright?" the teacher repeated. "You seem a little bit distant."
"I'm fine," Sherlock murmured, embarrassed at being called out just to be asked this question in front of the rest of the class.
"Well can you please focus on the lesson rather than daydreaming out of the window?" the teacher asked.
"Yes sir," Sherlock muttered, turning to look like he was focusing on what was being taught. The day passed slowly and Sherlock couldn't but distract himself in other ways. Doodling over his notebook absently as he listened to the tedious lectures from his teacher. Sherlock was more than glad when the day was finally finished, packing up his supplies quickly before rushing out of the door to try and find Mycroft. Sherlock went to stand where Mycroft had dropped him off, sitting on the wall and eating a bag of sweets which he had found tucked away in the corner of his bag. Mycroft was late; Mycroft was never late when it came to picking Sherlock up. Knowing that Sherlock had no one else to walk with on the way home and that Sherlock preferred not to be home alone with their parents.
Mycroft was breathing heavily when he eventually arrived, looking a little flustered as he turned the corner and found Sherlock. "Sorry, busy day and we were let out late," Mycroft quickly apologised.
"It's alright," Sherlock murmured. "I managed to keep myself entertained."
Sherlock didn't bother to tell Mycroft the truth, that actually he was bored stiff from having to wait so long for Mycroft to arrive. Sherlock had already considering going on alone, but he didn't want Mycroft to shout at him. He left that to their parents who often told them that they were a disappointment. Sherlock had often stayed up late, listening to Mycroft having another argument with them, worrying that Mycroft would one day storm out and leave him behind. Sherlock barely believed when his brother told him that their parents preferred him more. That they still believed that they could mould Sherlock into what they considered their perfect child like they could never do with Mycroft.
Mycroft looked at Sherlock quietly, sensing he was lying but not bothering to ask any questions. He took Sherlock's hand quietly, leading him along the busy London streets and back to the family house.
Sherlock sensed that there was something wrong with Mycroft's mood. Trying to work up the courage to ask him what was wrong. It was until they were outside the front door. "Mycroft, is everything going to be alright?"
"Of course, Sherlock," Mycroft replied a little absently. "Why wouldn't it be?"
Sherlock shrugged. "You seem a little distant, that's all."
Mycroft smiled down at him, not replying. Mycroft always forgot how observant Sherlock could be. Of course he'd be able to sense that something was wrong even if he hadn't yet found the skills to deduce why or what it was. Mycroft opened the door to the house, looking around quickly before turning to look at Sherlock.
"How about you go upstairs for a little while?" Mycroft asked. "I need to talk to mum and dad."
Sherlock couldn't help but scowl. "Why can't I just stay down here with you?"
"Sherlock, please just go upstairs, I don't want you here for this," Mycroft was trying to be gentle but he knew it sounded horrible, even as he said it.
"But, Mycroft…" Sherlock tried to argue.
"No buts, Sherlock. Upstairs," Mycroft told him firmly. Sherlock looked up at Mycroft, his eyes filling with tears before he turned and raced upstairs before Mycroft could say anything else or try to comfort him. Mycroft sighed, moving towards the kitchen where he could hear noise, hoping for once that Sherlock wouldn't be listening in.
Sherlock had slammed the door to his room, knowing that no-one downstairs would be listening. He threw himself down on the bed, allowing the tears to overflow into his pillow. It was a few minutes before Sherlock heard the raised voices downstairs, picking out Mycroft's and their father's. Every so often Sherlock could hear his mother. He sat up; the arguments had never been this bad before. He slipped silently off his bed, moving towards his bedroom door and trying to open it as quietly as possible. It creaked and Sherlock stopped, though the argument downstairs was too loud for them to hear such a quiet noise. Sherlock moved, sitting at the top of the stairs so he could hear the argument easily. He couldn't help but be a little horrified at what he heard but he didn't dare go down, go to Mycroft's defence. It seemed like hours before Mycroft eventually stormed out of the kitchen, making his way up the stairs angrily as he did so. Sherlock quickly rushed back to his room, not wanting Mycroft to catch him eavesdropping. Sherlock heard Mycroft's door slam shut. He didn't move, too afraid of what he might find if he went to Mycroft's room now.
It took fifteen minutes before Sherlock finally worked up the courage to go to Mycroft's room. Timidly knocking on the door and waiting for a reply.
"Come in," it wasn't Mycroft's usual tone. This time he sounded angry, annoyed. Sherlock was tentative, knowing that in this mood that Mycroft wouldn't want to be disturbed. Sherlock opened the door, pushing his head round it. His eyes widened slightly at the suitcase on the bed which was filled with Mycroft's belongings. Sherlock remained quiet for a few minutes, moving into the room and sitting cross-legged on Mycroft's floor.
"You're not coming back this time, are you?" Sherlock asked quietly.
"No," Mycroft's reply was calmer this time. "No I'm not coming back this time."
"Can I come with you?" Sherlock asked tentatively. He didn't want to be left behind. Not here with his parents who had so often caused arguments.
Mycroft sighed. "I can't take you with me, Sherlock. I haven't got any money; I don't even know how I'm going to be able to look after myself, let alone you."
"But you promised you'd look after me," Sherlock whined, knowing he sound like the little kid he was to Mycroft.
"I'm sorry, Sherlock," Mycroft said, his tone was disappointed. Mycroft knew more than anyone else that leaving Sherlock by himself would be torture. But he didn't have any other options. "I can't take you with me."
Tears were running down Sherlock's cheeks again. "But you promised," Sherlock could barely get out through the tears. Mycroft was silent, looking at his brother. Not knowing what to do. He slowly made his way across the room, wrapping his arms around the younger boy and wiping away the tears.
"Don't Sherlock," Mycroft whispered. "Don't make it hard than it already is."
"You don't want me, that's fine," Sherlock looked at Mycroft angrily. He pulled out of Mycroft's arms and got up, aiming back towards the door. "Then I don't want to have anything to do with you anymore. Don't bother coming back; don't bother even trying to make contact."
Sherlock gave Mycroft one more angry look before slamming the door shut, leaving Mycroft silent and motionless in the middle of his bedroom floor.