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And The Fever When I’m Beside Him

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Mycroft is itching to leave 221b. Correction: He wants to take his brother and leave. A ridiculous notion, not only because he and Sherlock have only just arrived about ten minutes ago but also because the party is for his brother. 

Mrs Hudson hands him a glass of champagne. He watches Sherlock’s graceful fingers wrap around the glass John hands him. Watches John’s fingers linger a fraction too long. The stem of Mycroft’s glass digs painfully into his hand. 

He tears his eyes away. Glasses clink repeatedly. Mycroft is grateful he’s at the very edge of this mess of human merriment.

“To Sherlock!” 

“To staying out of jail!” 

“And not murdering anyone else!” 

“At least not in front of witnesses!” John’s attempt at humour earns him several glares. He’s oblivious, eyes glued on Sherlock’s face, Mycroft notes resentfully. Mrs Hudson and the guests exchange knowing glances, all of them smiling. Encouraging. As if it’s inevitable. 

The worst part is they are probably right. 

Sherlock is finally free. The British government was so relieved the Moriarty wannabe had been thwarted after two months of near misses, kidnappings, and amateurish terrorism that Sherlock was granted a royal pardon for murdering Magnussen. John is also free, finally divorced and without baggage. Even a noble victim to some (to Sherlock, probably, Mycroft thinks bitterly), after his wife turned out to have blackmailed lab technicians to cover a fake pregnancy and was caught red-handed meeting a wanted Bolivian newborn trafficker. 

Everyone had rushed to console John. Morstan was a bad woman solely for faking a pregnancy. None of them could manage to remember that she had shot Sherlock… Mycroft clamps down on the familiar rage. If it were up to him, she would’ve been tortured for weeks. Months. No prison can be punishment enough for killing his brother, if only for the few moments Sherlock had flatlined. 

He glances at his little brother, very much alive and well. Relief ripples around Sherlock, mixed with something else Mycroft can’t put his finger on. Sherlock looks… serene. Not a word most people would associate with his brother, but then most people are idiots. He would attribute it to Sherlock getting his life back together, but this is not the first time this… thing Mycroft can’t decipher has crossed his little brother’s handsome features… He’s seen it increasingly throughout the past month, Mycroft realises. 

Sherlock turns unexpectedly and catches Mycroft’s eye. He raises his glass; Mycroft mirrors the gesture. Sherlock’s lips glisten with a few lingering drops. Fierce desire over a decade old curls in Mycroft’s stomach. 

His eyes stray back to John, who is darting mesmerised glances at Sherlock’s moist lips as well. John follows Sherlock’s gaze suspiciously, openly hostile. When he finds the recipient of Sherlock’s smile is Mycroft, he relaxes and turns back to sneaking glances at Sherlock. As if Mycroft’s not a threat, no reason to elicit insecurity, not someone who could ever hope to compete for Sherlock’s affection. 

And he isn’t. He’s hopelessly, utterly in love with his little brother, and he can’t breathe a whisper of his terrible feelings to anyone. Least of all his gorgeous, genius, only brother. 

Mycroft swallows the bile rising in his throat. 

He couldn’t have picked a worse time to revisit these… feelings. Is there ever a good time, he wonders. Yes, yes there was: Every moment of these last two months, he thinks with a pang, these glorious two months. For all the danger and potential snipers and coded messages sending them on wild goose hunts, for the first time in his life Mycroft had Sherlock under his own roof, in his care, occupying the guest room next to Mycroft’s very bedroom. And for the first time since Sherlock moved to London, they got along swimmingly. 

For two months, Mycroft and Sherlock lived together and worked together, Sherlock’s old playful, affectionate side creeping out more day after day, slowly eclipsing all traces of the sullen, aggressive, surly genius his little brother had become after completing drug rehab. Mycroft’s loneliness gradually faded with Sherlock’s transformation into his old self, hanging on his big brother’s every word, happiest in Mycroft’s company, never running out of things to talk to him about. 

Once upon a time it was dead insects and experiments, then chemistry and deductions, then university courses and the immeasurable dullness of the people taking them and teaching them. Now it was the not-Moriarty and his web, terrorists and clues obvious only to them, the two of them, side by side (as they used to be, as they should be, Mycroft thinks passionately). 

Mycroft doesn’t want it to end. Less than ten minutes ago, sitting in the car backseat intensely aware of his little brother’s presence next to him, Sherlock engrossed in his phone, the silence entirely companionable, it hit him: Sherlock no longer has to stay at Mycroft’s. He can safely return to Baker Street. Mycroft’s relief at the lack of luggage was short-lived: Most of Sherlock’s possessions have never left Baker Street in the first place. He has only kept a few of them at Mycroft’s for the past two months and it’s all been temporary anyway (how foul the word tastes; temporary, when his love for Sherlock is anything but). 

In fact, the moment they arrived and Sherlock stepped inside 221b, he has effectively moved back in. He probably expects Mycroft to send him his belongings tomorrow. It’s too obvious to even warrant a mention; Mycroft doesn’t know why on earth he has thought otherwise. John actually moved in the minute Sherlock’s pardon was granted four days ago, and Mrs Hudson is already treating them as long-lost lovers. 

Mycroft steps a little farther from the happy group squeezed into the 221b living room. Even though they all greeted Sherlock with shrieks and hugs, they are all struck by the same need again. Irene Adler whispers something in Sherlock’s ear and pecks him on the cheek. Molly holds him a fraction too long, and Sherlock wraps his arms around her again. Even Lestrade hugs him again. Mrs Hudson ruffles his hair and dabs at her eyes. Janine plants a bold kiss on Sherlock’s lips, to wolf whistles from Irene and Lestrade and a hastily masked scowl from John. 

John’s hands are clenched as he glares at Janine, Mycroft notes. He is the only one who hasn’t hugged or otherwise touched Sherlock. Yet. Much to his chagrin, Mycroft can’t deny that John no longer looks confused. Extremely impatient, he notes bitterly, but not confused. Probably eager to have the party over with and have Sherlock all to himself again. Mycroft struggles to ignore the rush of scenarios John will likely attempt to carry out behind closed doors, as Mycroft heads back to his mansion. Alone. 

If he has no idea how he will handle Sherlock’s absence, at least he knows what he’s doing tonight. Tonight he will sleep in the guest room adjacent to his own bedroom, in the bed his beloved brother has been using since Magnussen’s murder. He will fill his senses with Sherlock’s scent and seek solace in Sherlock’s dear chaos. He won’t let the maid touch that room for a week at least, until he’s exhausted every lingering speck of his brother’s presence. 

How pathetic. Either turn the room into a shrine or go insane with this secret, unrequited, terrible love. 

Well, he can’t go insane. The reason he wakes up every morning is to be there for Sherlock, however Sherlock may need him. His brain is his beloved brother’s strongest ally, and the mere thought of Sherlock facing life stripped of Mycroft’s protection is even more unbearable than facing his house without Sherlock’s glow lighting it. 

“Brooding, Mycroft?” Sherlock materialises in front of him, tantalisingly close, forever out of reach. Not his. Never his. Sherlock smiles at him, clinks the glass Mycroft has forgotten he has in his hand. 

Inexcusable, to retreat into his head so far as to be startled. He smiles back. “Obviously not. I wouldn’t miss this riveting gathering for the world.” He sips his champagne. 

“I warned you.” Sherlock surveys the room. “They’re a very… ah… excitable bunch and they’re not even drunk yet.” 

“Nonsense. What a delightful little group.” Mycroft raises an eyebrow. “Especially the classy Miss Janine.” 

Sherlock shudders elegantly. Mycroft fiercely wants to kiss all traces of Janine’s vile mouth off his brother’s lips. He wants to claim Sherlock and leave his mark on him. And he wants to do it publicly, dignity and career and law be damned. 

“Sherlock, where are all your things?” John’s voice yanks him out of his reverie. John is standing closer to Sherlock than anyone else. He’s so close that if he stands on the tips of his toes he could… From the look on John’s face this is the first thing he’s going to try the second everyone leaves. John’s picturing it too, Mycroft can tell. He grits his teeth, choking on jealousy. 

“Still at Mycroft’s,” Sherlock replies. 

“Well, you still have plenty of your clothes here,” John replies easily. 

A kick in the gut, the realisation that everyone believes Sherlock is impatient to be back here, his stay at Mycroft nothing but part of the ordeal he has been through for two months. And this time his flatmate is eager, free, and no longer confused. 

If Mycroft weren’t so far gone for his little brother, he’d be the first person to concede that things do look much more promising for Sherlock this time round. 

“Actually, I still need to stay at Mycroft’s a little longer. If you’re amenable, that is,” Sherlock adds, looking at Mycroft. 

“You know you’re always welcome to stay at my house for as long as you want,” he replies, struggling to keep his usual disinterested mask over the relief crushing him. 

“Seriously?” John frowns. “Mycroft, you’re not seriously planning to make him do more bloody government work? He’s only just finished working his arse off for two months!” 

“I think it was Sherlock who asked me, not the other way round.” Mycroft allows himself the politest eye roll possible. 

“And to be fair, I was also working to save my own arse, John,” Sherlock adds. 

“Perhaps you should send our delightful Moriarty impostor a card. He did you a tremendous favour, after all,” Mycroft adds, immensely grateful for the man’s idiotic plan to impersonate Moriarty. Sherlock hums in agreement. 

“A tremendous… Jesus, Mycroft. He put your brother in danger for two full months,” John retorts. 

“He also spared him certain death in Eastern Europe,” Mycroft says pleasantly. 

“Oh, for… Spare us the drama just this once, Mycroft.  You’d never send Sherlock to certain death-” 

“You’re right,” Mycroft replies flatly. “I would never do that. Tragically, I didn’t get to pick the mission.” 

“It wasn’t… It was a suicide mission?” John asks, incredulous. 

“Brilliant deduction, John,” Sherlock grins at Mycroft. Mycroft smiles tightly. 

“What the fuck? You stood there and watched your own brother get on a plane to-” 

“Unlike you, I know my brother’s capabilities. I also knew what the alternative meant.” John gapes. Of course. If it’s too much to hope he would understand even if it were spelled out for him, it’s downright idiotic to expect him to figure it out for himself. “Can you imagine my brother locked up in prison, John? Do you know what that would have done to his brain? Can you imagine the welcome party he would’ve received by every murderer he helped put in there?” 

“So you let your… MI6 or whatever rope him into a suicide mission? What, it didn’t occur to you to give him a new identity, new passport? Isn’t all that run of the mill for a spy?” John spits out the word in disgust. 

“John!” Sherlock is staring at John, appalled. “I was never even going to land in Serbia, you idiot. For heaven’s sake, think. Do you seriously think Mycroft would ever knowingly let me come to harm? Or be bested by those bumbling idiots this country is happy to call the government, for that matter?” 

Mycroft tries to mask the giddy warmth that washes over him at Sherlock’s words, ringing with unwavering trust. This, this is the one thing no one on earth can ever take away from him. Sherlock might have flatmates and admirers, but Mycroft will always be his only brother and his single most capable protector. Sherlock will never believe anyone has his back the way he obviously – and rightfully – believes Mycroft does. He will never trust or respect anyone’s mind as he does Mycroft’s. 

At least he has this. 

“Mycroft went above and beyond brotherly duty to protect me, John, when he clearly didn’t have to,” Sherlock says quietly. 

“Clearly I had to,” Mycroft says blandly. “Mother would have buried me alive otherwise.” 

“Probably in Eastern Europe too, no less,” Sherlock quips, grinning. 

“I’m well acquainted with her sense of poetic justice,” Mycroft says. Sherlock clinks his glass against Mycroft’s again and they both sip their champagne. 

“Oh, isn’t it heartwarming?” Mrs Hudson coos. “See? They love each other underneath all that…” 

“It’s bloody weird, actually.” Lestrade remarks. 

Mycroft grasps for something to deflect the attention from anything to do with his feelings for Sherlock. “Despite the amusing Bond movies Sherlock tells me you favour, John, spies don’t dictate terms to the Prime Minister regarding cold-blooded murder, especially murder committed in front of witnesses.” Mycroft pauses. “What spies do, however, is work secretly with other spies when the need arises for illegal arrangements.” 

“At what price?” John asks flatly. 

“Irrelevant.” Mycroft glances at his brother. Something glitters in Sherlock’s beautiful eyes. Mycroft averts his eyes, adding, “When it’s about Sherlock’s inevitable death by torture, the price to stop it is irrelevant.” 

John lets out a hard, mirthless laugh. “I… Sorry, Mycroft.” He sighs. “And it was all for my sake.” 

“Oi,” Lestrade interjects, “Sherlock killed himself for me too, remember?” 

“And Mrs Hudson,” Molly reminds them, as though anyone has forgotten. 

“John doesn’t mean Sherlock’s fake death,” Irene points out in a bored voice. 

“Right, yes. Magnussen… It was all for my sake,” John stares at Sherlock, stricken, then pulls him into a crushing hug. “I’m sorry,” he mumbles. 

Sherlock allows the hug without reservation. Mycroft hates the proof that Sherlock is decidedly more tactile around John than he is with everyone else – with the exception of Mycroft, which brings him no relief whatsoever. It somehow makes him John’s equal, in a way, except Mycroft is the brother and John is… will be… everything else. Mycroft wants to be Sherlock’s brother, flatmate, best friend, lover… He wants to be Sherlock’s everything, just like Sherlock is his whole world. 

The doorbell rings, and everyone scrambles up and downstairs, grateful for the interruption. Mycroft stares at John’s arms still smothering his brother. Wrong, he thinks savagely, wrong wrong wrong, he’s mine. Mycroft raises his eyes slowly, seeking relief in Sherlock’s lovely face. Sherlock is looking at Mycroft, his expression unreadable. 

Mycroft wonders if Sherlock’s expression was ever unreadable to him before. Never, he decides. 

“I’ll give you two a moment,” he smiles blandly, moving toward the window. The least he could do after John’s apology is extend him some courtesy, little though the incredibly lucky moron deserves it. 

He hears the party exchanging introductions and coming back upstairs. His parents. He schools his face into quiet bemusement to mask the emotions roiling within him. His parents don’t need to worry about him too. They embrace warmly. They look around expectantly for Sherlock. He’s not there.

Neither is John.

“Where’s Sherlock?” Mummy asks. 

“In there,” Irene Adler points to the conspicuously shut door of Sherlock’s bedroom and waggles her eyebrows at Janine in delight. Mycroft’s heart sinks. 

“Oooh,” Janine stage-whispers, apparently just as ridiculously delighted with the suggestion (suggestion, he repeats to himself; surely Sherlock won’t… Surely he’ll wait until everybody’s left? It’s probably John who can’t wait). He can’t even scowl. It would only be interpreted as ridiculously controlling, since no one knows the real reason. And that’s not something anyone can know either. 

Sometimes the weight of this enslaving secret feels like it’s crushing him. 

“About time,” Mrs Hudson chimes in, nodding at the closed door and handing his parents champagne glasses. “Poor John’s been through so much.” 

Poor John? He clenches then unclenches his hands, trying not to imagine what is going on right now behind the closed door. How far he has fallen, not only pining after his younger brother but now envying a confused (not anymore, and isn’t that great timing), broken shell of a man. He wishes he could shield himself from the snatches of visions accosting him. Lips caressing lips, clothes falling open, revealing creamy, pale skin. Sherlock willingly allowing… encouraging John to do what only Mycroft should do. 

His eyes sting, and he swallows it all back angrily. Oh, and now he’s about to think that’s not fair. He’s stooped low enough to resort to that sort of immature reasoning. 

The door opens suddenly and John stalks out. More wolf whistles and inane remarks. Idiots, Mycroft thinks in relief, surreptitiously inspecting him for signs of any physical romantic activity. None whatsoever, although John looks shaken. Argument, then. John greets Mycroft’s parents and ignores Mycroft completely. Argument about Mycroft. Oh. Sherlock… berated John on his behalf? He glances back at Sherlock’s room. Sherlock strolls out, eyes trained on… Mycroft, expression unreadable (again?). They lock gazes, then Mycroft breaks the gaze, uncharacteristically uncertain and unused to being uncertain. 

Sherlock stops next to him, hands buried in his pockets. His scent wafts out, tendril by delicious tendril turning Mycroft light-headed. 

Side by side. It’s where they belong, he and his brother. 

Sherlock drapes his arm around Mycroft’s shoulders, watches their parents hug John. He turns to look at his younger brother, his bemused mask slipping. 

For a few seconds, it’s over a decade ago, and he’s looking at his brother, affectionate, tactile, and eager to monopolise all of Mycroft’s time on his rare visits home, before Mycroft’s barrage of promotions, before the drugs and John and Moriarty and getting shot… The onslaught of cherished memories coupled with Sherlock’s proximity send Mycroft’s blood rushing south. Alarmed, Mycroft casually shakes the lovely arm off. 

A flicker of hurt flits across Sherlock’s beautiful face. Mycroft wants to kick himself – and pull Sherlock’s arm back. They’re brothers, damn it. There’s nothing wrong with some brotherly affection when he’s the only one aware of his guilt and his shameful secret. 

“Come on,” Sherlock says, a little too casually, “you have to tell Mummy I didn’t smoke once during my stay with you. She never believes me.” 

“He was the model son as usual, Mummy,” Mycroft deadpans lamely. 

“Well done. Now she’ll never believe me,” Sherlock retorts, smiling tentatively at him before turning toward their parents. John immediately hovers next to Sherlock. 

The party stretches on unbearably. John hovers continuously near Sherlock. Mycroft keeps searching his brother’s face for any traces of hurt. Sherlock studiously avoids his gaze. The thought that he has hurt his little brother and wrecked this new (renewed, which makes it even more precious) two-month-old truce is killing him. He can’t even ask Sherlock to step outside with him for a few minutes. Ostensibly they don’t smoke, and surely whatever Mycroft needs to discuss can wait since Sherlock is staying with him tonight (perhaps he’s changed his mind though, after Mycroft’s oafish behavior). He can’t resort to lies about dangerous work without alarming his parents. 

They all go downstairs to Mrs Hudson’s flat for coffee when she discovers that Sherlock had dismantled the coffeemaker at some point before the Magnussen business. Molly complains of a headache. Sherlock offers to fetch her some aspirin from 221b. Mycroft mutters hastily about getting something for his back and follows his brother upstairs. He hesitates inside the flat, then locks the flat door behind him. 

Mycroft approaches Sherlock’s room. His brother is crouched by his nightstand’s bottom drawer, inspecting what looks like an aspirin pack in his hand. Mycroft's eyes move hungrily from the tousled mop of curls to the decadent exposed nape of his neck, to his graceful back in an elegant, very fitted light blue shirt, to his pert bottom and long legs encased in tight trousers… 

Mycroft’s pulse races. He clears his throat. Sherlock stands up fluidly, a sinfully beautiful Adonis in a modern pair of trousers and shirt. He turns the aspirin pack in his hand and says, “Come in and shut the door, Mycroft.” 

The soft click of the door makes the rest of the house seem continents away from the two of them. 

This is a mistake. Why couldn’t he wait until they had left the party? How can he avoid giving himself away like this? 

Sherlock turns around and finally meets his gaze. His eyes glitter, inscrutable. Mycroft’s mouth goes dry. 

“I…” Mycroft begins. Sherlock waits, uncharacteristically patient. “About earlier, Sherlock. That was utterly harsh of me, and-” 

Sherlock sighs. Mycroft is confused, unsure where he’s overstepped. It’s entirely possible he put too much weight on a silly arm drape. Sherlock has, after all, got increasingly tactile with him over the past two months. It’s how he has always been around Mycroft for most of his life anyway. It’s possible he has no idea what Mycroft is blathering on about. 

Sherlock sets the aspirin on the nightstand and puts his hands in his pockets. He raises his head, looks at Mycroft, pensive. “No need to apologise,” he says. “It was too familiar, especially with all of them there. I made you uncomfortable and-” 

“No… What? No, Sherlock.” And yet the real explanation will definitely leave his precious brother recoiling in disgust. “When have your hugs ever made me uncomfortable?” 

“I’ve only ever hugged you around Mummy and Daddy, Mycroft.” 

“True. Well, you saw the fuss your lovely guests made about us being nice,” Mycroft adds helpfully. 

Sherlock huffs. “Idiots. Thank heavens Mummy hadn’t arrived yet. She would’ve thought we’ve been at each other’s throats since I came to London."

“We have been at each other’s throats since you came to London. You've been at my throat, at least.”

“Well, you looked properly disgusted the day you took me to rehab. You looked… scared of me. I couldn’t hug you again after that. You should’ve seen the horror on your face earlier.” Sherlock scowls. Mycroft wonders if he will one day find it anything less than breathtaking. “I really am clean, you know. Even if addiction were contagious, it wouldn’t be now.” 

“I know that.” Mycroft snaps, horrified. How did he miss this? Sherlock actually thinks Mycroft was... permanently repelled? “That’s stupid even for you, Sherlock.” 

“You even stopped ruffling my hair,” Sherlock says. What a ridiculous thing to say, Mycroft thinks, even as he concedes that it’s true. 

“I was under the impression the world’s only consulting detective wouldn’t appreciate having his big brother ruffle his hair,” says Mycroft, confused. 

Sherlock peers into Mycroft’s face. “And now you’re dying to ask if I’m on something.” Entirely correct. “I’m not. I’m disappointed in your deductive prowess, Mycroft.” Sherlock picks up the aspirin again. “You never ruffled my hair in public. It was always at home. If I didn’t mind you ruffling my hair when I was a university graduate, it’s only logical that I won’t mind at any later point.” 

“Like I said, this is stupid even for you, Sherlock.” Sherlock looks at him, struggling to look affronted. “So this is… What? You’re angry with me because I’ve stopped ruffling your hair?” 

Something shutters in Sherlock’s eyes. “Never mind, Mycroft.” He moves toward the door. 

Mycroft swiftly blocks his path. “You are an idiot,” he says, smiling. But Sherlock doesn’t resist when he is pulled into a hug, immediately wrapping his arms around Mycroft. 

Mycroft raises a tentative hand and ruffles Sherlock’s hair in wonder. Oh, how he has missed touching those precious, soft curls. His hand cards through them slowly, repeatedly. Sherlock emits something suspiciously like a purr, his arms tightening around Mycroft. 

“You can’t look out for me all the time with your surveillance and your minions like I’m a… big toddler, and think I’d mind you ruffling my hair,” Sherlock mumbles into his shoulder. 

“But you are a big toddler, Sherlock,” Mycroft replies, Sherlock’s curls tickling his nose. “You need someone to look out for you.” 

“Is there anything you wouldn’t do for me, Mycroft?” 

Taken aback at the question (no, there is nothing in this world he wouldn’t do for Sherlock), Mycroft tries to pull back. Sherlock tightens his arms around him, pulls him impossibly closer. 

It’s a perfectly natural, innocent brotherly hug, he tells himself feebly, trying to ward off the guilt. Their hips are dangerously close, and he wills the spike of arousal away. He wants to crush Sherlock to him, he wants… His cock swells rapidly in his pants, and he tries to pull away frantically, terrified at Sherlock’s inevitable disgust and horror if… 

“Relax, Mycroft,” Sherlock murmurs, his baritone swirling to coil around Mycroft’s cock, pulling it harder in his pants. Slender fingers brush his scalp, carding through the sparse hair at the nape of his neck. 

“Sherlock?” He doesn’t recognise his voice. 

“Mycroft, listen.” Mycroft forces his voice to produce the requisite questioning hum through the fog of arousal. “You no longer have to keep me under your roof now that… No,” when Mycroft stills, “no, listen.” Sherlock tightens his arms around him again, “I’m not moving out yet.” He drags his stubble against Mycroft’s jaw, his soft lips settling in a warm puff of breath next to Mycroft’s ear, “I’m just giving you a way out.” 

“A way out?” Mycroft repeats in dazed wonder, heart hammering, painfully aroused. 

Sherlock exhales shakily. “Yes. You might need it.” 

Mycroft pulls back to peer at his brother. Sherlock is breathing heavily, hands clutching Mycroft’s forearms. Mycroft’s hands are splayed open in the air on either side of Sherlock’s waist. 

“Sherlock, I haven’t the slightest-” 

Sherlock kisses him. 

Sherlock’s lips are impossibly soft. His tongue licks into Mycroft’s mouth, across his teeth, swirls around his tongue. Mycroft can't breathe. 

Sherlock’s lips move against his ear. “Sorry, Mycroft. Sorry,” he whispers. It sounds like a sob. Something inside Mycroft breaks. Sherlock begins to pull back, clears his throat, adds, “You can send my stuff-” 

Mycroft grabs Sherlock’s waist with both hands, slamming him against the wall. He crowds against him, crushing his mouth against his brother’s, sucking on his bottom lip. He takes Sherlock’s hand and trails his fingers along his own hard length. Sherlock gasps and presses himself flush against Mycroft. Oh. An answering hardness throbs hotly against his thigh. Oh God. 

The room tilts. Mycroft must be dying: It hurts to breathe, his blood is on fire, his skin is on fire, his ears are roaring. He is drunk on Sherlock’s scent, Sherlock’s tongue against his in Sherlock’s mouth, Sherlock’s fingers intertwined with his against the wall on either side of his brother’s precious head, Sherlock’s erection against his, searing hot through their layers of clothes. Mycroft has never been so aroused in his life. He thrusts against his brother as if he wants to flatten him against the wall. Sherlock rolls his hips against Mycroft’s and nibbles on his bottom lip. 

Mycroft’s mind short-circuits. He growls, devours his brother’s mouth as his hands frantically undo Sherlock’s button and tear his trousers open. His brain doesn’t understand he’s sunk down until wood digs into his clothed knees. He desperately yanks down Sherlock’s boxers and swallows him whole. 

Sherlock’s musk fills his nostrils. Sherlock’s cock… In his mouth… He licks into the slit, around the head, sucks and swallows around his brother’s cock, moaning, grunting. Mycroft’s hands knead his brother’s plush buttocks, part the cheeks, slide between them and underneath. His brain knows not to hurt his beloved brother by fingering his hole dry but he rubs it, massages the skin around it, presses his finger against the perineum. 

He feels Sherlock’s cock get even harder before his mouth is flooded with hot bitterness. Sherlock spills into his mouth as Mycroft swallows and sucks, suckling his brother’s cock, milking him dry, anxious not to let one drop of his release escape his mouth. 

He swallows, and swallows. He takes huge gulps of ragged breath as Sherlock’s cock softens in his mouth. It slips out, and Sherlock melts to the floor. Mycroft presses a hand to his chest in an attempt to steady his breathing, catching Sherlock and pulling him into an embrace with his other arm. They’re both panting, and Mycroft places open mouthed kisses on Sherlock’s curls, his forehead, his nose. They kiss as Sherlock reaches sluggishly for Mycroft’s crotch, which is when Mycroft becomes aware of the sticky wetness in his groin. 

He came untouched. 

The realisation hits Sherlock at the same time. He breaks the kiss and pulls back slightly, something impossibly tender flashing across his eyes, and he clutches Mycroft’s bicep with one hand, peers into his face intently. “Since when?” Sherlock whispers. 

A mobile pinges. Text message. Sherlock’s mobile. Mycroft’s hand shoots out to stop Sherlock from getting up. “Leave it please. It’s probably…” Then it dawns on him. The party. Downstairs. Their parents, for heaven’s sake. “Oh my God.” 

“Since when, Mycroft?” 

Mycroft looks his fill at his brother – his lover; oh, he still can’t believe it really happened. “A very long time ago.” He closes his eyes. “You weren’t even of age when it started.” 

“I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t like this for me,” Sherlock offers. 

Mycroft is left reeling at the implications of that. 

Sherlock’s mobile pinges with another text. He looks at it, purses his lips, then hands it to Mycroft. It takes Mycroft three attempts to actually read the words. 

Both texts are from Irene Adler. 

17:53 Kinky! You’re lucky it was me and not John or the DI. Also, your Ice Prince is very loud. Now let me in. You need a beard, you idiot.  

17:55 Let me in. Unless this is something your parents already know about? 

Mycroft’s heart is racing. His entire world has been turned upside down. A former prostitute with a new identity has apparently found out he and his brother have just… Sherlock stands up, hastily doing up his zipper, cock hidden once again in his pants. Sherlock’s graceful fingers rest where the button used to be. Before Mycroft tore it in his rush to… 

Mycroft is on his feet and pulling Sherlock into a messy kiss before he’s even aware of it. His cock twitches. He cups Sherlock’s crotch as his little brother melts into his embrace. 

A sharp rap on the door startles them apart. 

Mycroft looks at his saliva on his brother’s lips. At the dazed look in Sherlock’s bluegreen eyes. Mycroft takes a deep breath, then stands back and unlocks the door. He opens it a fraction. Irene promptly squeezes into the room, shutting the door and locking it. 

“Oh my,” she breathes, eyes on Sherlock. 

“Miss Adler,” Mycroft warns, aware of the debauched picture his brother makes. He drapes a possessive arm around his brother’s slender waist. Sherlock ignores Irene completely, turning toward Mycroft, melting against him, seeking his lips with his lovely mouth, as heedless of decorum as ever (and Mycroft’s one to talk, kissing and fellating his own brother, eagerly swallowing his semen while their parents sit downstairs; allowing Irene into the room with a wet patch on his trouser front and the taste of Sherlock’s come in his mouth). “Sherlock,” he begins, grasping for any remaining dregs of his rapidly evaporating sanity. 

Sherlock cups Mycroft’s crotch. Moans softly. Mycroft’s cock swells against the stickiness. He wants to order Irene to turn away (the rare sight of Sherlock undone is for his eyes only) but his tongue is fucking Sherlock’s mouth as Sherlock deftly unbuttons Mycroft’s trousers while walking him backwards. Sherlock falls on top of him on the bed, lowering Mycroft’s zip, insinuating his slender fingers inside the stickiness and curling them around Mycoft’s cock. 

Mycroft's hips buck up helplessly as he thrusts into Sherlock’s hand. Part of him cannot believe he’s indulging in this in front of a stranger (and one lusting after his brother as well), but all of him cannot believe he’s allowed to do this at all, to actually touch his beloved brother as a lover, to have his brother touch him as a lover… All thoughts of Irene and decorum fly out of his head when Sherlock’s hot, bare cock is suddenly thrusting against his, Sherlock’s hand wrapped around both of them. 

It’s over in a dizzying flash this time, and fumes of pleasure scorch his brain as Sherlock pulses hotly onto Mycroft’s cock. Mycroft spills while Sherlock is still coming. The image of both their cocks ejaculating at the same time, semen mixing messily and coating both their cocks… Mycroft fists his hand in Sherlock’s silken curls and pulls his brother down to a brutal kiss, lifting Sherlock’s semen covered hand up towards his lips. 

Oh, but Sherlock reads him in a flash, insinuating one finger after the other between their open mouths. Mycroft is positive his heart can’t handle the dizzying pleasure as their tongues meet wetly, licking their mingled come, gliding against each other around Sherlock’s finger, until finger after finger Sherlock’s hand is licked clean. Sherlock is still on top of Mycroft, his clothed legs tangled against Mycroft’s. Sherlock licks a few drops of semen off the corner of Mycroft’s mouth, presses languid kisses on and into his open mouth, presses soft, warm kisses on Mycroft’s cheek, dearly reminiscent of the kisses Sherlock used to bestow adoringly on Mycroft’s cheeks countless times a day as a child. I love you, he thinks, his heart about to overflow with love, this lifelong love for his little brother. 

Heavy breathing. Mycroft is abruptly reminded of Irene’s presence. She is staring at them unabashedly, pupils blown, leaning against the door for support. 

“Oh my,” she breathes.  “That was ten different kinds of filthy… and sexy. Who knew the Ice Prince and the Virgin-” 

Mycroft comes crashing down from the afterglow. He scrambles to pull up a blanket around Sherlock and himself. 

“Oh, don’t be a selfish little boy, Mr Holmes.” She’s got her breath under control. “I can barely see anything from here.” 

Sherlock begins in a warning voice, “Irene, play nice-” 

“It’s not like I’ve never seen our darling virgin starkers before.” She glances at Mycroft then returns to look her fill at Sherlock. 

Mycroft bares his teeth. “Miss Adler-” 

“Ooh, possessive.” Irene looks at Mycroft, says, “He turned me down, you know,” then to Sherlock, “So you do make spectacularly bad deductions sometimes.” 

“Shut up!” Sherlock scrambles up to a sitting position. 

“Is this who you were talking about-” 

“Irene!” Sherlock snarls at her. 

“-when you said you were in love-” 

“Shut up!” Mycroft’s head snaps up. 

“-but he would never want you? Not a terribly brilliant deduction there, honey.” 

Mycroft’s heart is hammering. Sherlock won’t meet his eyes. He glares at Irene. 

“Oh, lighten up, Sherlock,” she chuckles. “Well, this has been quite the show, you two. I don’t mind telling you I’d happily pay to watch this. Again. Anytime.” 

Mycroft is unreasonably jealous of any further communication between her and his little brother. There's also the comment Sherlock supposedly made. He’s desperate to learn more about that. “Miss Adler-” 

“But let’s clean you two up first and get you dressed, shall we? Also, I’m Sherlock’s beard, not yours, Mr Holmes. You’ll have to go downstairs first.” 

“And leave you alone with him.” Mycroft seethes, realising it is the only plausible option. 

She studies him with intelligent eyes. “You’ve figured it out then. Good.” She turns her back to them and opens the wardrobe unceremoniously. “The spare suit Sherlock always keeps for you is still here.” She turns to them. “I knew it wasn’t John’s size. You don’t need a brain to figure that out. But I never would have imagined it was yours, Mr Holmes.” Her eyes are dancing with mirth. 

Irene is indeed admiring a navy blue suit complete with shirt, tie, and pocket square. Precisely his size. 

Mycroft turns to look at his brother, who shrugs and refuses to meet his eyes. 

“I had it made just in case. A long time ago. I forgot all about it,” Sherlock adds hastily. Mycroft trails his fingers down Sherlock’s arm possessively, trying to contain himself. 

Irene snorts. “Do get over it, Mr Holmes. And please hurry. Your parents may be enjoying Mrs Hudson’s excellent scones but John Watson, I assure you, will be up here any minute to check on his dear… flatmate.” 

“Sherlock?” 

Irene groans at the sound of John’s voice from behind the locked door of the flat. 

“Sherlock?” John raps on the door. “Sherlock, are you there?” Another rap. “You okay?”