A/N: This is my first attempt at Sherlock fanfiction. I was watching "The Reichenbach Fall" again, and I couldn't help but notice that Mycroft looked uncharacteristically remorseful. That made me wonder about how his brother's death affected him, and this is the result.
It was there, in black and white.
Suicide of Fake Genius
My brother, my little brother, was dead! Not only dead, but he had taken his own life.
What had happened, how had this happened? It all seemed so innocent, getting Moriarty to talk by regaling him with tales of Sherlock's youth. It only truly hit me, what I had done, when I read Kitty Riley's column, read that she was publishing an expose about Sherlock. Sherlock would never talk to a reporter willingly; much less talk to one long enough to get enough information to publish a tell-all story. So, if not Sherlock then who? John would never betray him that way, and he was the only person who knew Sherlock well enough to give this reporter enough information. But John didn't go to Miss Riley, because John would never betray Sherlock in that manner.
That was when it had truly hit, when I had truly seen. Moriarty had played me, played me for a clueless fool. He gleaned everything needed about Sherlock and used it to perpetrate this farce. And to what end? He died as well, so it wasn't to outlive his enemy. He wanted to die the perceived victim, supposedly mistreated by his opponent. His obsession with Sherlock led to Sherlock jumping. My assistance, unknowing as it was, had led to Sherlock's death.
He had never cared for the fame. Whatever else I could say about Sherlock, he had never wanted to be acknowledged by the press for his actions. All Sherlock cared about was The Work. He lived to solve puzzles, to solve cases, to prevent the inevitable boredom that came from being far more intelligent than the people around him.
But he didn't only care about his puzzles, not after he'd met John. John had made him see things differently; perhaps that is why Sherlock was so fond of him. Sherlock didn't have friends, at least not until John. That man had humanized Sherlock, adding something that wasn't there before. John pointed out when Sherlock was insensitive, and sometimes he apologized or changed his behavior.
Perhaps that is part of the reason he jumped. Caring is a weakness after all. How many times had I told Sherlock that? He seemed to listen, as much as Sherlock listened to anything I said, but there were times… He nearly killed a CIA agent for laying a finger on his landlady. Sherlock would never have done that if he didn't care.
Then again, who am I to be reproving my brother for caring? Isn't that why I am sitting here now, not bothering to even pretend to work? Just sitting and thinking, remembering my little brother with…fondness?
I have never, ever, let myself show emotions or feel them; not since I was a child. Sherlock was often called a sociopath, but I was much worse. The Ice Man, isn't that what Moriarty had called me? It fit, seeing as I was as cold and unfeeling as a block of ice, or so I had believed. If that was true, then why am I sitting here, drowning in guilt and regret?
Regret is pointless, especially pertaining to the dead. Nothing can be changed, and apologies are worthless. And yet…knowing that is not enough to stop the feeling. I can't help but recall all of the times, years ago, when we were younger and Sherlock still looked up to me. The boy was smart, frighteningly so, and yet he still looked up to me with something akin to hero-worship. And I had done everything in my power to chase him away, attempting to distance myself from emotions.
Caring is a weakness. Sherlock had no problem comprehending that, it seemed, and yet he still cared. He cared enough about what others believed to jump, to kill himself. Did he know, before he jumped, did he know what I had done? Had he been able to deduce that I had told Moriarty all about his past? John was able to, and Sherlock was far more intelligent than his friend. Did he wonder why? Did he feel betrayed, or was it just par for the course? Did he truly believe that I would willingly have told Moriarty everything if I had realized what was going to happen? Have I truly wronged my brother that badly in the past that he didn't even hesitate to believe that I would do something like this?
How had it come to this? The little boy, all black curls and porcelain skin and large pale eyes, the little boy who had followed me everywhere, asking about chemistry, psychology, criminology, and a thousand other topics besides. The little boy was gone. He had gone long ago, and by the time I realized, by the time I wanted to be a part of his life, he distrusted me. I had shoved him away too many times, told him to stop bothering me or that he didn't need my help. I had turned my brother away from me.
I attempted to reconcile with him later on, of course, and when that didn't work I turned to other measures. Spying on him, even though he knew, at least let me know he was alright, that he was well and hadn't perished from an experiment, a case, or the drugs. John was better able to soothe him, keep him clean and still happy. John was able to do what I was unable to, and I began to rely on that. I should have realized that even John wouldn't be able to keep Sherlock afloat of this depression.
Why was he so depressed? The public thought he was a fraud. He never cared what others thought. Donovan and Anderson believed so as well. He hated those two with a passion. They had managed to convince Lestrade. Perhaps that had been part of it. Lestrade had known him for years, and yet he was able to be convinced that Sherlock was a fraud. If one of his few supporters believed the lie, then who would believe the truth?
Sherlock…why did you do this? Wasn't there some other way? I would have done anything to help you, even though I doubt you would have believed it. I have enough influence that I could have proved that you were not a fraud, that Moriarty had faked the records. You had to have known…and yet you still jumped. Did you believe that I would not help you, that I would tell you to solve your own problems as I did so often in the past? For goodness sake Sherlock, how could you believe that?
This is ridiculous. I am sitting here, speculating on questions I am never going to get answers to. And yet…I cannot stop. Sherlock was a pain at times; childish, rebellious...for goodness sake he showed up at Buckingham Palace in nothing but a sheet, and had the audacity to claim he would walk out stark naked, and yet I am…laughing? That was embarrassing, especially with such a high ranking ally there, and I am remembering the occurrence fondly?
Sentiment; that is the only explanation. I can still hear him telling Miss Adler, "Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side." He was right, I had said as much myself before, and yet that seems almost sad now. Perhaps if I had spared more thought for Sherlock when we were younger, I wouldn't be sitting here now, preparing for a visit to his grave.
His grave. I honestly never thought that Sherlock would die first. I always assumed that it would be me; I am the eldest after all. After he gave up the drugs, all of my fears of Sherlock dying by his own hand vanished. I never contemplated suicide, as Sherlock was too levelheaded for that. Even in his blackest mood, death was never his goal. But now, he is gone and I still cannot comprehend that fact. I made the arrangements for the funeral, going by what was set down in his will, and yet it still does not seem real.
I can go to the cemetery and visit his grave, and yet I am oddly reluctant to do so. There, I would find no relief from the memories that are haunting me, no relief from the guilt and regret that shadow my every move. And John will be there no doubt. He will look at me, just look, as though I am not even worth the time or trouble to insult me. And he is right. Sherlock may have jumped off of that building, but I helped to put him there.
That is what it comes down to; why I am unable to banish the guilt or the regret that are my constant companions. If my brother were here and knew what I was thinking, I believe that he would find this amusing. I, Mycroft Holmes, am tearing myself apart over sentiment. I know that he would mock me, and yet I almost wish he were here. To hear him, just once more, mocking me, acting petulant and disinterested…I would give more than I would care to think about for that chance. To tell him, and for him to understand my sincerity, when I say...