A/N: I am working on my other fics, but I'm having some problems in real life that I need to deal with before I can update. This I wrote a while ago and am just now posting. Enjoy. Written for a prompt where I was given John as the character, Gen as the pairing, Hurt/Comfort as the Genre, and Angelo's as the location. Also, this is based on the assumption that Mycroft has no idea Sherlock faked his death.


John sat in the booth at Angelo's, trying very hard not to think. Three months. It had been three months since Sherlock… Well, since Sherlock had gone. Anything else he could have seen, from kidnappings to torture to bombs, but he had never thought Sherlock would…

"Hello John," a voice said, breaking him out of his thoughts. John looked up at Mycroft Holmes, wondering just why the man had wanted to meet with him. "I suppose you are wondering why I have brought you here?" Ah, there it is.

"Why am I here Mycroft?" John asked, trying to focus on the man in front of him instead of the man he was thinking about. Sherlock had always known what John was thinking… "We didn't exactly part on the best of terms."

Mycroft huffed, although his lips curled slightly at the edges. John had broken Mycroft's nose at Sherlock's funeral, and Mycroft had let him.

"I wished to see how you were getting on," Mycroft said, finally sitting and placing his umbrella beside him. Seriously, did the man go anywhere without that thing?

"Oh, so you're checking up on me now?" John asked bitterly. "I think I'll decline the special attention Mycroft, after what happened to the other guy."

Mycroft flinched, and part of John reveled in it. The only reason Moriarty's plan to discredit Sherlock worked so well was because Mycroft blabbed. If would have just kept his mouth shut…

"John," Mycroft said, before clearing his throat and looking out the window, "I hadn't intended for this to happen."

"Yeah, that's what you said at the funeral," John muttered. "That's part of why you got punched Mycroft. It doesn't matter what you intended, or what you had planned. He's dead Mycroft; S-Sherlock's dead!"

Mycroft looked up as John finished his rant, and he was amazed by the amount of pain he saw there. The Holmes brothers fought constantly, but that didn't mean they would wish the other would die. Before John could offer an apology (not very sincere, but he would get credit for trying right?) Mycroft began to speak.

"He was my younger by seven years," Mycroft murmured, looking back out the window. "When he was younger, he would follow me about constantly. He always wanted to know what I was doing and why. He had a thirst for knowledge that blocked out all else. Learning new things was interesting for him, and Sherlock hated to be bored."

John snorted. He knew that all too well. Hell, the living room wall was decorated with bullet holes whenever Sherlock was bored.

"By the time I was twelve," Mycroft continued, "I was tired of Sherlock's constant attention. He idolized me, in the way of a younger sibling, and he never doubted that I knew everything and that I would always look out for him. I had enjoyed the attention at first, and Sherlock was an apt pupil, but I tired of constantly answering questions and playing with him. It seemed to get worse as he got older, and I dreaded to think what would happen when I left for Oxford."

"You thought he'd follow you?" John asked, wondering what the point of this conversation was.

"Yes," Mycroft replied, still staring out the window. "So I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I was tired of him following me, bothering me, and generally making a nuisance of himself. He recoiled as though I had struck him. When he spoke, his voice was full of contempt. He told me to get my, and I quote, 'Fat arse out of his room immediately or else.' I left, after telling him that no one liked a sulky child."

"And the point is…" John asked. He could see where some of Sherlock's aggression came from, it really had been a petty childish feud, but he didn't know why Mycroft was telling him.

"He never trusted me after that," Mycroft continued, ignoring John's question. "When he attended school, the other students mocked him. Unsurprising really, given his lack of social grace and his intelligence, but hurtful none-the-less. He began to shut himself away, not speaking to anyone unless it was necessary and then usually in the most scathing manner possible. I tried to explain what he needed to do, but he said that I need not waste my breath. He wasn't going to listen. When he began doing drugs, I once again tried to speak to him, but got the same result."

Mycroft turned to face John, and John saw the pain in his eyes, the pain of losing someone far too soon. "I haven't had a civil conversation with Sherlock since the fight twenty-three years ago. He has never bothered to listen to my advice or my admonishments since. When you came to my office, I had thought that Sherlock was with you, lurking in one of the corners. But when he wasn't present, when you were alone, I realized that he knew that I had given Moriarty that information, and that he wasn't surprised. I relaxed my guard and was taken advantage of, and my brother didn't think twice. Sherlock died believing that he couldn't trust me, because I was a fool twenty-three years ago."

John really didn't know what to say. Sherlock had never been good with emotions, and he assumed Mycroft was the same. Looking at the man across from him, John felt his anger lessen a little. Mycroft was feeling guilty because of a twenty-some year old fight with his brother. That, John could help him with.

"Listen Mycroft," John said, "I really don't know why you're telling me all of this, but I think you need to let it go. You're blaming yourself for a fight that happened when you were twelve. Twelve year olds can be idiots, even genius twelve year olds." John's smile was slightly sad as he remembered his first case with Sherlock. He'd called the genius an idiot then. His brother was getting the same a few months later. He imagined Sherlock laughing over that wherever he was.

"You know, knew," Mycroft corrected with a grimace, "Sherlock better than anyone else, myself included. He trusted you, and so he let you in."

"Only a little," John defended, "I knew a lot less about him than he knew about me."

"Regardless, you know, knew, him," Mycroft continued, undeterred. "Which is why I have a question for you."

"What?" John asked, slightly wary.

"Do you believe that my brother voluntarily committed suicide," Mycroft asked, "Or do you think he is still alive?"