Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock.
Hi everyone! So my muses are slowly getting back to their normal selves … again, I know this isn't Rebellion or Circle of Life but I started it a long time ago and while talking with Cumberbatch Critter today, was reminded of it and so I thought I'd finish it while I felt inspired to. I hope you enjoy =)
The night had been miserable. Utterly miserable.
Confined to his bed lest John get suspicious, Sherlock had tossed and turned and gotten absolutely no sleep whatsoever. He had gone to bed early, feeling like he was coming down with something, and by the time the first rays of sun were splashing over London, Sherlock felt ghastly.
He had to get out of the flat. Quickly, before John found him. The last thing Sherlock wanted right now was to be babied and looked after. He just needed some sleep and paracetamol and he'd be better tomorrow, he was sure of it.
Sherlock didn't bother with dressing properly. Rather, he shrugged on his Belstaff and scarf and slipped out the door. He got a cab and begrudgingly told the driver to go to the Holmes Estate.
Mycroft was waiting for him at the door and once again, Sherlock was reminded how annoying it was that Mycroft always knew where he was.
"Ah, Little Brother," Mycroft greeted him from the door. "Running from your flat-mate?"
"Shut up, Mycroft," Sherlock grumbled, slamming the taxi door closed. The black car pulled around the driveway as Sherlock pushed past his brother.
"Your room is prepared," Mycroft said, closing the door behind him. "And there is someone who will wait on you, should you need anything."
Sherlock didn't need anyone to wait on him – he was just going to sleep – and ambled through the maze of corridors before coming to the familiar bedroom. He dropped his coat on the floor and fell into the large, feather bed, feeling it envelope his body. To his dismay, Mycroft followed him into the room.
"Leave me alone," Sherlock muttered, pulling the duvet up tightly. Mycroft was at the edge of the bed and laid a hand on Sherlock's forehead.
"Mycroft," Sherlock complained. "I left Baker Street because I didn't want to be coddled by John. I did not come here to be coddled by you."
"I am merely concerned, Brother," Mycroft said. "You've got a fever. Have you taken any paracetamol?"
"No." Sherlock said. He didn't add that his stomach was so tied in knots that Sherlock wouldn't even risk a sip of water. Mycroft must've nodded to someone in the door because a minute later a tray was delivered to the bedside table. Sherlock cracked his eyes open in time to see Mycroft picking up a thermometer and he buried his face in his pillow.
"Sherlock, please," Mycroft said in a tolerating voice.
"Just leave me alone," Sherlock mumbled. "I'll be fine."
"I know you'll be fine," Mycroft said, rolling his eyes. "But you're not fine now. Please do not make me do this another way."
"You know very well I will." Mycroft said, hand reaching to pull the covers down.
"Okay, okay," Sherlock said, wrenching the covers back up – mostly out of cold but also partly because Mycroft, unlike John, had not made an empty threat. He would actually attempt to take Sherlock's temperature in a less pleasant method.
"Good." Mycroft said, sliding the thermometer into Sherlock's mouth. Sherlock closed his eyes, humiliated at having given into Mycroft's demands. The thermometer beeped and Mycroft removed it, allowing Sherlock to burrow down further in the soft bed and pull the duvet over his head.
"Would you like to know what the reading is?" Mycroft asked pleasantly as he peeled away the packaging on a new bottle of paracetamol. Obviously it wasn't too high and Sherlock didn't respond.
"Before you continue ignoring me, you may want to consider taking these."
Sherlock knew Mycroft was right and he held out his hand, taking the three pills and swallowing them dry, ignoring the glass of water in Mycroft's outstretched hand. Mycroft sighed, replacing the water on the table.
"I have to go out," he said. "But someone is around if you need anything. Just call."
"Fine." Sherlock said into his pillow and Mycroft left the room, closing the door quietly. His head popped up as soon as Mycroft was gone and he reached over for the thermometer. Disappointed it was not a newer model that showed the most recent reading when turned on, Sherlock slipped it into his mouth again. He was dying of curiosity, obviously, but he wouldn't ask Mycroft for details on his health. The thermometer beeped for a second time and Sherlock studied the screen, trying to decide if thirty eight point three was high or not. He didn't feel that bad so he decided it was fine and rolled over, intending on going to sleep.
Sherlock fell asleep soon enough but his mobile woke him up when it vibrated against the hardwood floor. Groaning, Sherlock ignored it until it vibrated again … and again. It had to be John asking where he was or Mycroft wondering how he was although Sherlock quickly realized it had to be John. Mycroft wouldn't text him when he could just ask the person posted outside the door, not to mention Mycroft knew he'd be sleeping.
Stupid fever. It was messing with his deduction skills.
The mobile kept vibrating and Sherlock knew that if he didn't answer it, John would become worried and in his panic, call Mycroft. Again groaning, this time as he tried to find the strength to get out of bed, Sherlock picked up his coat, fished his mobile from the pocket, and dropped it again. He crawled back between the Egyptian cotton sheets and scanned through the messages.
[Received 8:34] Where are you?
[Received 8:35] Sherlock, answer me.
[Received 8:37] I'm getting worried.
[Received 8:39] Where the hell are you?
[Received 8:43] If you don't text me back, I'm going to call Lestrade.
[Received 8:44] SHERLOCK.
Even as Sherlock was scrolling through the messages, a new text came through.
[Received 8:47] Sherlock, can you please just let me know where you are?
Sighing, Sherlock texted John back.
[Sent 8:48] Out. Don't know when I'll be home. Don't come. Turning mobile off for security measure. SH
Sherlock switched the mobile off and put it on the bedside table. Then he burrowed under the blankets and fell asleep again.
"Sherlock, aren't you ready yet?"
"No. I'm not going."
A fourteen year old Mycroft appeared above Sherlock, who was huddled under his blankets.
"Mummy told you that you had no choice but to come to the rowing match. It won't be that bad, I promise."
"No. I'm ill." Sherlock pulled the duvet over his head. Mycroft sighed.
"No, you're not. You're fine. Come on, get dressed. We're going to be late."
"I'm not going. Leave me alone." Sherlock's voice was muffled by the thick blanket over his face, which Mycroft promptly pulled away.
"I can't leave you alone. I have to go; I'm part of the student government. Mummy and Daddy are out so you have to come with me."
Sherlock pouted and Mycroft rolled his eyes.
"Hurry up, the car will be here in a few minutes."
Seven year old Sherlock sighed as he sat up. He really didn't feel well but he knew Mycroft wouldn't care so he painstakingly dressed and followed Mycroft out to the shiny black car waiting to take them to the match.
Sherlock had never liked rowing, or going to any sports match, really. He just didn't care about these kinds of things. The school had a viewing box at the stadium and Mycroft was greeted by the other chaps. Sherlock was overlooked, which was just how he wanted it, and he found a corner of the box and sat down, resting his head against the opposite wall and closing his eyes. He very quickly fell asleep and didn't wake up till Mycroft was shaking his shoulder.
"Sherlock? Sherlock, it's time to go home."
The young boy tried to curl into himself, not wanting to open his eyes.
"Sherlock, get a move on."
"Leave me alone, Mycroft," Sherlock mumbled, his eyes still closed. The older Holmes frowned at his brother not because he wouldn't get up, but because he didn't look well. Mycroft laid a hand on Sherlock's cheek.
"You're burning up." Mycroft said with a sigh. "Come on, get on my back."
Sherlock cracked his eyes open and wrapped his arms around Mycroft's neck. He felt himself being hoisted into the air and the next thing he knew, Mycroft was tucking him into his bed.
"I'll be right back, alright?" Mycroft asked in a much gentler voice than normal. Sherlock nodded and when Mycroft came back, he was holding a damp facecloth and the thermometer, which he put in Sherlock's mouth. Sherlock let his eyes slide closed as Mycroft dabbed at his forehead with the cloth. The thermometer was a mercury one so it took a while but when Mycroft removed it, he sighed.
"Your temperature is at thirty eight point six degrees."
"I told you I was ill." Sherlock mumbled, rolling over.
"I'm sorry, Sherlock. I thought it was an excuse so you didn't have to go to the rowing match."
"It was an excuse." Sherlock said. "It just wasn't a lie. There's a difference."
Mycroft smiled faintly.
"You're right," he agreed. "Go to sleep, Sherlock. I'll be around, alright?"
Sherlock had already drifted off at this point and Mycroft left the bedroom, closing the door softly behind him.
Mycroft now stood in the doorway of the same bedroom, although it had changed significantly. There was no pirate flag hanging between the windows, no treasure chest full of toys. The corner where their father had made Sherlock a wooden pirate ship was now occupied by a desk and the quilt was no longer the bright blue Sherlock had loved as a boy. It was still Sherlock's room … just different.
The older Holmes sighed, reminiscing. Sherlock hadn't known it at the time but their parents had been in counselling when Mycroft had to watch his brother. Of course, it didn't work and his father left and his mother turned to alcohol more often than not. Since age thirteen, Mycroft had always been the one looking after Sherlock; it was simply second nature to do it again. With that thought in mind, Mycroft went to the edge of the bed and sat, gently running his hand underneath Sherlock's mop of curls and pressing it on his brother's forehead.
"Mycroft," Sherlock grumbled. "Stop it."
"I'm just seeing how your fever is doing, Sherlock."
Sherlock shifted and opened his eyes.
"It is still there."
"Obviously." Sherlock yawned. "Why are you here? I can take care of myself."
"Because I care about you and I'm worried."
"You're never worried about me, just about how I'm going interrupt your schedule. I'll be fine, go on with your day."
"That's neither true nor fair, Sherlock. I am quite concerned as to why you aren't at home, in your own bed. John usually looks after you, am I correct? And yet you left before he could find out you were ill this morning. Logically, I can assume something happened between you two. Did you have a row?"
"No." Sherlock said. "I simply wanted to get better without having someone pester me all the time, although I don't know why that would happen here. I think the fever is negatively affecting me."
"I just want what's best for you, Sherlock."
"Then leave and let me sleep."
"In a few minutes," Mycroft said. "I spoke with my physician,"
Mycroft chose to ignore Sherlock's snort. Honestly, Mycroft couldn't even handle a simple cold without running to his personal physician? How … proper of him.
"And he, not surprisingly, prescribed bed rest, a regime of paracetamol, and lots of fluids. He also stressed the importance of eating so I had the kitchen staff make some chicken noddle soup using Mummy's family recipe."
"I'm not hungry."
"You need to try." Mycroft said firmly. "Sit up."
The difference today, compared to other days, was that Sherlock's voice lacked its normal conviction.
"Sherlock, you need to eat. Would it make a difference if John told you?"
"Don't you dare call John." Sherlock said, pushing himself up a bit. Mycroft glanced up from his mobile.
"I won't," he said. "As long as you try and eat. Just a small bowl to start."
Sherlock scowled. He didn't like that Mycroft was getting his way (again) but he certainly didn't want John to know about his cold so he pushed himself up and looked rather crossly at Mycroft.
"Ah, good." Mycroft said, glancing up from his mobile again. He had texted someone and started a chain reaction that ended up with a tray being brought through the door momentarily. The staff worker set it on Sherlock's lap and left, Mycroft nodding to her as she left.
"You don't need to watch me eat," Sherlock said, picking up the spoon.
"I'm fine." Mycroft answered, moving to an arm chair by the window overlooking the garden. Sherlock slowly ate a few bites, disgusted by how much his hand shook as it carried the spoon from the bowl to his mouth. He didn't manage much but it was enough to please Mycroft, who smiled when Sherlock said he was full.
"Well done," Mycroft said, signalling for someone to take the tray. When it was gone, he returned to the bed and handed Sherlock the thermometer. Sherlock saw no point in arguing and merely slipped it in his mouth, shimmying down in the bed as it took its reading.
Mycroft glanced at the thermometer when he removed it.
"Your fever is at thirty eight." He said, setting it down and reaching for the paracetamol. "That's lower than this morning."
"I know." Sherlock muttered, swallowing the pills. "I told you I would be fine by tomorrow."
"I'm not sure about that," Mycroft said. "But you'll be better in a few days at least."
"Tomorrow." Sherlock said, his face buried in his pillow.
It was late at night and Mycroft had taken his pillow from his bed and was sharing with his ill brother. He felt guilty for making Sherlock tag along when he had been ill. Besides, their mother was not having a good night. Mycroft tried to tell her about Sherlock's fever but she had simply ignored it, if she had even understood what he was saying.
"When's Mummy going to check on me? She always kisses my forehead to see if I'm hot or not."
"Mummy's busy tonight, Sherlock. She asked me to stay with you."
"Oh. Don't kiss me."
"I wasn't going to."
Mycroft smiled as he settled himself, facing Sherlock in the huge bed.
"Go to sleep, Sherlock. You'll feel better tomorrow."
Mycroft had left the edge of the bed and was once again standing in the doorway.
"Go to sleep, Sherlock." he said, echoing his words from over twenty years earlier. "You'll feel better tomorrow."
I love exploring Sherlock and Mycroft's relationship and I like to think there was a time when they didn't totally hate each other.
As always, thanks for the reviews! They're appreciated more than I can say!