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NaNoWriMo 2017: 30 Days of Shirtless Mycroft

Chapter Text

Sherlock was bored. John had gone to work, ‘I do need to show up sometimes, Sherlock, one of us needs to earn money,’ as if Sherlock earned no money at all. And Lestrade had gotten mad at him the last case they worked together; Sherlock had already forgotten what exactly had happened, but all the same he knew to let the DI alone for a while. But all that was unimportant because Sherlock was BORED.

Out of pure desperation he started an experiment concerning acid and old clothes. He might someday need to know the exact time it takes sulphuric acid to burn through different types of clothing. (And if it turns out he never needs that knowledge for a case he might still use it to impress John.)

Since Sherlock was not a complete idiot he cleared his workspace as much as possible and donned his protective gear. He was still an idiot for doing this in the middle of his living space and not in a safe, clean and controlled environment, but oh well, you can’t have everything.

Right when Sherlock was about to drip some acid on his first clothes sample – an old tie he had stolen from Mycroft ages ago – the owner of the about-to-be-ruined tie opened the door. This set in motion a domino-effect.

Due to Sherlock’s previous rearranging the door could not open completely: he had stacked a bunch of boxes and papers right in its path. This tower of boxes and loose papers fell over, causing the boxes to hit an old test dummy Sherlock had first thought of using in the experiment but had then ultimately cast aside. The dummy hit Sherlock on the shoulder and the jarring impact made him jerk his arm, the same arm holding the pipette with the acid in it, and made him squeeze reflexively, so releasing the acid inside the pipette. And the drops flew straight to his brother, who was still standing inside the doorway, and landed on his shirt and waistcoat.

Sherlock felt his heart skip a beat. ‘Take it off!’

Mycroft immediately ripped his shirt off.

The set-up in the living room pointed to an experiment with harmful substances and the panic in his brother’s eyes told him this was not a joke and he needed to get his shirt off right this instance because whatever he had felt hit him was not water.

But to get to his shirt Mycroft needed to go through several layers, so by the time he had bared his chest, some of the acid had come into contact with his skin.

Sherlock cursed as he saw what had happened. He grabbed his brother and pushed him to the stairs. ‘Shower! Cold water, at least 20 minutes.’

Mycroft dashed up the stairs and jumped in the shower. Sherlock had followed him up and was running through a ‘burn treatment list’ in his mind.

‘How bad is it?’ Sherlock was almost scared to ask. He knew what horrible results acid burns could have.

Mycroft turned around in the shower so his brother could see his chest. ‘It was only a few drops, I’ll survive. Frankly I am more concerned with my suit, it is completely ruined.’ He was trying to retain his stoic mask but Sherlock could see he was shocked and in pain. Mycroft was right in his assessment of the burn though, it could have been much, much worse.

‘What were you thinking, just coming in without warning?!’ Sherlock inwardly winced, that was not what he wanted to say. But his reflex was to be scathing, especially around his brother, and combined with his guilt over the situation, Sherlock did not know what to say and fell back on his instincts.

Although normally Mycroft was used to Sherlock’s abrasive manner, he had no desire to go along with it now. ‘What were you thinking, playing with dangerous acids in an unsafe environment? Anyone could have walked through that door, you could have seriously hurt someone Sherlock. Someone who would take it badly.’

‘I know, I know. I’m…’ Sherlock sighed, this was going to be painful, ‘I am sorry.’

‘You had better be,’ there was a flash of humour in his eyes, ‘you burnt off my chest hair.’ There was indeed a bare spot among the ginger curls on his chest.

Sherlock snorted, ‘Well I, for one, think it is an improvement, maybe you should think about waxing, brother mine.’

Mycroft could not supress a shudder. Sherlock’s face lit up, ‘Oh you have tried it before haven’t you? Don’t tell me. It was in college.’ He studied his brother’s face. ‘For a dare! Mycroft, how scandalous of you.’

‘Yes, well, shouldn’t you get me a compress or something?’ Chuckling Sherlock started rummaging in the bathroom cupboard ‘Oh keep your hair on, dear.’

‘I believe the good doctor has come home.’ They had heard the front door open and after a short silence, in which John was probably taking in the scene of clothes, an acid bottle and a running shower, they heard him storm up the stairs, ‘Sherlock! Are you alright?’

He appeared in the door opening, ‘Mycroft? What?’ He quickly realised what had happened, ‘Shit, are you alright? Let me see, how bad is it?’

‘As you can see Dr. Watson, it is only a first-degree burn, I shall be perfectly fine.’ The whole of the situation seemed to finally sink in, ‘And while I am flattered you both long to see me barechested, I would appreciate some privacy.’

Sherlock huffed, ‘It’s a bit late for modesty now Mycroft, you can come out now by the way, you’ve let it flush long enough, let’s get this compress on you.’

‘Do you mind if I-?’

‘By all means Dr. Watson, I will trust your experience in applying compresses.’

Mycroft turned off the shower and reached for a towel. That simple movement caused him some pain however, and he didn’t complete the motion.

Once again Sherlock showed his concern and took the towel to pat Mycroft dry himself. Surprised by this obvious show of sentiment, Mycroft allowed his brother to continue.

Embarrassed by his actions Sherlock abruptly stopped. ‘I’ll go get you some dry clothes, your trousers are absolutely soaked.’ And he fled from the bathroom.

‘Right then,’ John visually made the switch to ‘doctor’, ‘just sit down there, and I’ll put it on. Tell me if it’s too tight.’

By the time Sherlock returned Mycroft was bandaged and had started to carefully dry himself again.

‘Here,’ in Sherlock’s arms were a pair of Mycroft’s own trousers and one of his shirts.

‘Those were stolen from my drycleaners, how did you-?’

Sherlock had a smug grin on his face, ‘their security was laughable.’

‘It’s a drycleaner! Why would they need a strong security?’ Mycroft exasperatedly ran his fingers through his hair. ‘Never mind. I do not want to know what was going through your mind. Now, unless you are desperate to see me naked, I would be ever so grateful to be granted some privacy.’ It was a clear dismissal.

‘Come John, we don’t want to see Mycroft naked, we don’t need that sort of trauma in our lives.’

‘Hardy har har. Now get out.’

He came out again after a few minutes, looking rather uncomfortable. Barefooted, wearing only a pair of trousers and an open shirt, he looked positively naked.

‘Would you like a cup of tea, Mycroft?’

‘No thank you, John. I believe I shall take my leave. I will message my driver and-‘

‘I already did that, he’ll be here any moment now.’

‘Ah, my thanks, brother mine.’

‘Be sure to get that checked out later, Mycroft.’

‘Of course, doctor.’

He heard a car stop in front of the door. He closed his shirt carefully and got into his wet shoes with a grimace. ‘Till next time, Sherlock, Dr. Watson.’

‘Mycroft.’

He stopped in the door opening, and turned his head, ‘Yes, brother?’

When Sherlock didn’t continue, Mycroft turned fully. There was an exchanging of looks and Mycroft smiled briefly, ‘Thank you, Sherlock.’

Sherlock sniffed and turned his back on his brother, ‘Yes, well, carry on then.’

‘Goodbye.’ And he exited 221B.

Chapter Text

It was too damned hot. His hotel room was filled with a stifling heat and he just knew that it was even worse outside.

Mycroft was currently in Belgium for some important meetings regarding the future of the United Kingdom and the European Union (damn that Brexit), but the current weather would be better fitted to Sudan or Mexico, not rainy, cold Belgium.

The weather had chosen this day of all days to completely ignore common practise and to torment Belgium, and with it Mycroft, with a heat wave.

It was horrible.

And to make matters worse, the AC in the whole hotel had stopped working. This was a five star hotel, for crying out loud, how could the AC just stop?

In an attempt to placate their disgruntled guests, the staff had provided fans and an unlimited supply of cold drinks. Mycroft was drinking so much ice-cold water he’d gotten brain freeze and the fan, which he had placed directly in front of him on the highest setting possible, could only do so much.

He had already taken off his vest, waistcoat and tie and he had even rolled up his sleeves, but he was still sweating buckets.

Desperately he opened the top few buttons. This was torture.

I hate heat.

I hate it, hate it, hate it.

Stupid fucking Belgium.

Stupid meeting.

Stupid Brexit.

Someone is going to pay for putting me through this.

I will have my revenge.

He opened the rest of his buttons but kept the shirt on, he still had a little bit of dignity left after all. Although that dignity was rapidly fading. He was painfully aware of what he looked like right now. His hair so wet with sweat it started curling again, his face red and sweaty, the redness spreading to his chest. His shirt flapping in the wind, exposing his pale, obviously-not-flat belly (stupid diet), Mycroft was very grateful he was completely alone.

Sighing he prepared himself to lose another part of his armour. Taking of his shoes, socks and trousers provided a short relief.

A very short relief, for he went back to sweating almost immediately.

Eventually he gave in to the inevitable. It was time take drastic measures. A cold shower.

Mycroft abhorred cold showers. He always felt horrible during, and whatever positive effect it was supposed to have was always gone when he got out. But he felt that in this particular situation, a cold shower was the lesser of two evils. It’d be nice to wash away the sweat in any case.

It was only slightly less horrible than he remembered, probably because this time he was the most desperate he had ever been, but it still wasn’t enjoyable, not at all.

All too soon he had to flee the shower out of pure misery. Not that it got any better afterwards, because the minute he got out, the pressing heat was there again and the air in the bathroom felt way too stifling.

He was still dripping wet when he returned to the main room where the fan was. Dripping wet and completely naked. He felt positively decadent. And anxious, also slightly aroused, there was that carefully hidden exhibitionist kink, but mainly anxious. So, he put a fresh pair of pants on, to at least feel like he preserved his modesty.

Making no effort at all to dry his hair – it would curl up no matter what he did in these conditions – or indeed any other part of his body, he dropped himself back on the chair in front of the fan.

And immediately got up again because bare thighs, a leather chair and heat were not a good combination. It would be safer to just sit on a towel or something.

Actually. He thought he had seen a basin in the bathroom earlier.

Yes indeed.

Filling the basin with ice-cold water and grabbing some flannels and the one vital towel he made his way back to the fan, with a small stop by the fridge to get some ice-cubes.

Yes, this is heavenly.

Having soaked the flannels and then draping them over various body parts Mycroft sighed in relief. Finally, another temporary salvation from this hellish torture.

He was so distracted by the lovely coldness that he failed to hear the knocking on his door, nor did he hear the opening of said door.

‘Sir?’

He did hear that though. Anthea had entered his chambers. While he was as good as naked.

Fuck.

Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Okay, play it cool.

Ignore the fact that you’re almost naked, maybe she will ignore it too.

Damn it, I’m supposed to imagine other people naked, not be it myself.

‘Ah Anthea, what can I do for you, my dear?’

And how are you able to move around, wearing actual tight-fitting clothing, in this heat?

To her credit – Mycroft did make an excellent choice with her – she seemed not fazed in the slightest by her employer’s state of dishabille.

‘I wanted to let you know that the meeting has been cancelled. We can return to London.’

Oh, thank God.

‘Excellent.’

‘I’ll give you some time to get dressed, sir.’ An almost unnoticeable smirk had flashed across her face. Almost unnoticeable.

The audacity.

Mycroft reluctantly patted himself dry and got back into his clothes. The heat felt like a heavy blanket completely covering him.

He couldn’t wait to go home. Home to cold, dreary London.

It sounded magnificent.

When they were seated in the car on the way to the airport, Anthea turned to him, still with that damnable smirk around her lips, ‘It seems the heatwave has reached London, sir. We can expect roughly the same temperatures.’

Fuck.

Chapter Text

It seemed he was haunted by broken AC’s. He must have been a serial killer or something equally villainous in a previous life to deserve this kind of torture. It was inhumane.

The one in his office wasn’t completely broken, thank God, but that happy coincidence was countered by the fact that he had to remain fully dressed the entire time. Removing even his jacket would have been a sign of weakness and his day was full of meetings were showing weakness was not advisable. The one thing that made it slightly bearable was the fact that every single person in the building was in the same boat. He felt somewhat better by seeing other people suffer. (On second thought, this mindset might explain his bad luck, karma and all that.)

Then on the car ride home he could take of his jacket, sure, but the car was stiflingly hot due to standing in the sun all day, there was also way too much traffic, and once again, the AC had given up.

He thought he’d finally be comfortable in his nice, cool house, but no, guess again, there was no AC. And it would take at least two days for the company to send someone. Apparently they don’t work weekends. Utterly ridiculous.

So, there he was, once again stripped down to his underwear, draping cold flannels over every part of his body. Only this time, he didn’t have a fan.

Mycroft wished he could just crawl into his fridge and live there, permanently.

Actually, that wasn’t such a bad idea. Maybe he should look into that. Liveable fridges, could be a gap in the market.

Oh dear, the heat was messing with his brains.

Time to try the cold-shower-method again, but this time, with tepid water, and in a bathtub.

Ah, yes.

This is nice.

He grabbed the remote control – whoever first thought of putting televisions in bathrooms was an absolute genius – and started browsing. He needed something that didn’t take an effort. There, a rerun of Merlin, perfect.

Bradley James and Colin Morgan looked as delectable as ever. Maybe his day wouldn’t be completely horrible after all.

Chapter Text

‘Doctor Watson.’

John’s head shot up, he hadn’t heard Mycroft coming up the stairs nor opening the door, but there he was, looking like he’d always been there.

‘Jesus, Mycroft, you’re going to give me a heart attack one of these days. Is everyone working for the government a secret ninja, or is that just you?’

Mycroft flashed him his patented I-am-better-than-you-and-we-both-know-it smile. … Maybe John was still in a bit of a mood.

‘I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.’

John snorted and put away the newspaper he’d been trying to read in one of these rare Sherlock-free moments.

‘I’m sure you don’t. What can I do for you? Sherlock’s not here, but I’m pretty sure you knew that.’

Mycroft shot him an assessing look.

‘I think you overestimate my abilities, dear doctor. But I am indeed here for you and not my brother.

John just raised his eyebrow.

‘Yes?’

The government official sighed and seemed to slump in on himself a little, which instantly set of John’s doctor-instincts.

‘I require your medical expertise.’

John immediately ran his trained eyes over him, trying to diagnose what could possibly be wrong. Wasn’t he favouring his right leg? Wasn’t his arm a suspicious distance away from his ribs?

‘There was a small… incident, and we are currently experiencing some small in-house problems, so to speak.’

Meaning Mycroft had been attacked, probably by one of his own, he couldn’t go to one of his normal doctors (because they weren’t to be trusted?) and John was the closest and safest solution. He could read between the lines.

‘Right then, I think we’d best do this in the bathroom, come on.’

John didn’t offer his assistance with the stairs, nor did Mycroft ask for it, but he did walk up last and alert, just in case.

‘Ribs and right leg, was it?’

This time the raised eyebrow was Mycroft’s.

‘I see tagging along with my brother has done wonders for your deductive skills, Doctor Watson.’

John didn’t even bother to feel insulted, Sherlock was worse on his best days.

‘I am a doctor, Mycroft. It’s my job to notice these things.’

‘Of course, my apologies. I didn’t mean to belittle your accomplishments, doctor.’

It hadn’t escaped his notice that Mycroft had made no move at all to let John actually see his injuries.

‘Mycroft.’

‘Yes?’

‘If you want me to treat you, I do actually need to be able to access your wounds.’

‘Yes, of course.’

Again, Mycroft showed no inclination to take off any clothing. So John decided a plain order was called for, and he channelled his army medic voice.

‘Mycroft, take of your vest, waistcoat and shirt, I need to see your chest. And sit down, you need to get off that leg.’

Mycroft sank down on the bathtub edge and slowly began to disrobe.

John had dealt with enough patients who were, for whatever reason, reluctant to disrobe, even, or maybe especially, in front of a doctor, to know that he needed to wait quietly and not rush Mycroft in any way.

His studied medical professionalism faltered however when he caught his first glimpse of Mycroft’s chest. Not because of his injuries, he could see they were mainly superficial, but because of the ink he saw spread across his patient’s chest.

Mycroft Holmes, the living embodiment of posh English gentleman, had tattoos. And quite a few, at that.

The one that had took John’s breath away however, was the one right across his heart. It was but a single word, written in what clearly was a children’s hand, there was an obvious unfamiliarity with the letters.

Mycroft had his little brother’s name tattooed across his heart.

I worry about him, constantly.

That’s what he’d said, the first time they’d met. And though John had sometimes seen through their veneer of snark, this was the first time that the absolute truth of that statement really sunk in.

‘John.’

Mycroft spoke his name with a warning quality.

He remembered the sentence that had followed.

But I would prefer for various reasons that my concern go unnoticed.

Right. Sherlock mustn’t know. Because heaven forbid people saw ‘The Iceman’ showing feelings.

No, that wasn’t fair of John. He could only imagine Sherlock’s reaction if he ever found out about this, and he’d seen enough spy movies to understand Mycroft’s mantra of ‘caring is not an advantage’.

There was a look of understanding between the two men. For a moment they were connected, for a moment their protectiveness over Sherlock, which manifested in different ways and generally prevented them to ever really be friendly with each other, changed to allow themselves to be allies in their battle to keep Sherlock safe.

The moment passed however, and John shook himself to remind himself that he had a job to do.

‘Right, let me take a look then.’

Chapter Text

Mycroft got his first tattoo the same day he turned 18.

Admittedly, it was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, but he’d never once regretted it.

It was his first year at university, and his ‘friends’ had taken him out for a celebratory drink. This being the first time he’d actually drunk alcohol, not counting the occasional sip of wine when his parents had visitors over, he had absolutely no tolerance, and very quickly became inebriated.

He found he could stand his companions better while drunk. Sure, they were still infinitely slower than him and could only make insipid comments, but it seemed to bother him less, in fact, he found it quite funny.

And that was why, when they were all giggling and stumbling to their next stop on the pub crawl, when one of them stopped and pointed out a tattoo shop and suggested he get one to celebrate his coming of age, Mycroft thought it an absolutely splendid idea.

Luckily, he was still sober enough he shouldn’t ‘get a dick on you face, Mickey, that’s what you like innit?’ like one of his more drunk companions suggested. That was, coincidentally, also one of the last times he associated with that particular young man.

Instead he decided to get one on his upper arm. He always wore long-sleeved shirts anyway, so no one would be the wiser.

Although he’d firmly decided the place, and that it would most definitely not be a penis, he was a bit at a loss as to what design he should get.

While he was half-heartedly flipping through the photo-map with examples, one of the group made a surprisingly insightful observation.

‘Why don’t you do something with stars, Mick, you like space don’t you?’

It was true Mycroft had a slight fascination with space. Unlike his brother, who couldn’t care less which planets there were or what went around what, he always though the whole thing had a certain appeal. It was one of the few romantic notions Mycroft allowed himself.

So that’s what he went with. A simple black and white tattoo of the solar system on his upper right arm. It started with a sun on his shoulder and then the planets further down his arm, with black dots indicating their orbit.

Mycroft left the shop an hour and a half later with a sore arm and a warm, happy feeling; he’d done something solely for himself.

 

 

Mycroft’s second tattoo didn’t present itself under similarly happy circumstances.

Originally, he’d decided to leave it at one, because although he quite liked his tattoo, he did realise he would never have done would he not have been drunk.

But despite his earlier convictions, he felt that, in light of this particular situation, he was allowed some kind of emotional support. And really, wasn’t it better he got a tattoo instead of just drowning his sorrows? There were worse kinds of coping mechanisms out there.

Sherlock had almost OD’d.

Mycroft had known of his little brother’s drug addiction of course, and he’d tried to help Sherlock get clean, but there were only so many things he could do when his brother didn’t want his help.

But now, now he had to act. He’d started by conferring with his parents. Before he’d wanted to keep them out of it, had wanted to spare them the pain, but now that wasn’t possible anymore. Not in the least because they’d known before him, Sherlock was still underage, so the first thing the hospital had done was to call their parents.

Together they decided Sherlock had to go to rehab, that is to say, Mycroft decided, and spent the better part of a day trying to convince his parents that yes it was necessary, no Sherlock wouldn’t just get over it and fine, I’ll tell him.

As if the relationship between the two brothers wasn’t bad enough already, now Sherlock had something else to resent his brother for.

So, the day they sent Sherlock away, Mycroft went home, searched his entire room and went to the nearest tattoo shop with an old, crumpled paper.

It was one of the old drawings Sherlock had made for his big brother when he still looked up to him. It wasn’t even a drawing really, Mycroft had just taught Sherlock how to write his name, so he’d written an entire page full and proudly presented it to his brother, a big smile on his face, showcasing his missing baby tooth. (This was the start of a whole year of Sherlock scrawling his name on absolutely anything.)

Mycroft knew that he’d never again have this kind of easy relationship with his brother, no matter how much he might want to, and he never wanted to forget, that once upon a time, his brother had loved him as much as he did him.

So, when the tattooist asked him where he wanted it, the only right answer was obvious.

‘Across my heart.’

Where he belongs.

Chapter Text

‘John. I need your help.’

John was instantly on alert, for Sherlock to actually ask his help instead of just flouncing around expecting John to follow was huge. This must mean that whatever this was, it was extremely dangerous.

‘Of course. What do you need?’

John stopped just short of a salute, but for all intents and purposes Sherlock was his commanding officer.

‘We need to prank Mycroft.’

‘I, what?’

He deflated, the once in a blue moon appearance of Sherlock asking for help, and it was just to prank Mycroft.

On the other hand, pranking Mycroft did sound amusing. And didn’t he say it himself?

It would take Sherlock Holmes to fool me.

Well, it might take Sherlock Holmes, but John Watson would be helping, oh yes.

‘Count me in.’

They shared a bloodthirsty grin.

‘Excellent John, I have cunning plan.’

Hah! He knew Sherlock had secretly enjoyed watching Blackadder last night, never mind his disparaging comments.

‘A plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel?’

‘Exactly, John, exactly. Now, here’s what we’ll do…’

 

A suspicious Mycroft walked up the stairs of 221B Baker Street. Sherlock had sent him a text, asking him to come, asking, not telling, not demanding, asking. This could only mean trouble.

But still, Mycroft would always indulge his little brother, so here he was, very carefully visiting his brother.

And there it was, the door stood ajar.

Really Sherlock? The bucket above the door? Child’s play.

But no, his brother would know Mycroft would be on to him immediately, so there must be something else.

A few buckets swinging from pieces of rope maybe. Yes, and then Dr. Watson, for surely he would have jumped at the chance to pull one over on him, hiding somewhere with another bucket. And lastly slamming the door close, so that that first bucket would fall on him after all.

Well then, a nice try Sherlock, but alas, I am truly the smart one.

Mycroft was just about to shuffle through the crack without opening the door any further when he paused.

Maybe… yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Very well then.

 

Sherlock heard his brother carefully walking up the stairs, Mycroft being forewarned couldn’t be helped, they needed enough time to set up and Mycroft was so sporadic in his visits, but maybe this way was better, he’d come in here, sure he had everything figured out, and then Sherlock would surprise him anyway, hopefully, if this worked.

Mycroft had paused right before the door and Sherlock shared an anticipatory look with John, it was almost time.

As expected, his brother got past the door without moving it, and he went to stand in front of it with his arm crossed and his eyebrow raised.

‘Really, Sherlock? This was why you brought me here? To try and prank me?’

He put an obvious, mocking stress on the ‘try’.

Sherlock didn’t say anything and watched instead how the three swinging buckets came at his brother from the right, the left and the front.

Again, as expected, Mycroft dodged those as well.

His brother just sighed and brushed imaginary dust from his shoulder.

Sherlock hoped John wouldn’t forget his cue, his blogger was staring at Mycroft with wide open eyes, he hadn’t believed Sherlock when he’d said his brother would be able to dodge the buckets without any problems.

‘He’ll know they’re there John, and he’s had extensive training, dodging three measly buckets is nothing.’

‘Knowing and doing are two different things, Sherlock, besides, whatever training he may have had, it would have been a while ago wouldn’t it, now he just sits behind a desk.’

Obviously, John still didn’t understand what his brother did, exactly, but no matter, that’s why Sherlock had been in charge of the plan, and not John.

Luckily, John got over his surprise in time to throw his bucket from where he was hidden behind the couch.

Which Mycroft sidestepped. Obviously.

‘Finished, brother mine?’

Sherlock pouted, and pretended to be disappointed, while secretly counting down.

5.

‘Whatever made you think you could fool me?’

4.

‘I was just texting your reflexes.’

3.

‘Of course you were, am I supposed to thank you then?’

2.

‘For this vigorous exercise?’

1.

Showtime.

 

Mycroft saw his brother’s eyes widen in excitement and knew this was his last chance.

Either step aside, forgo his humiliation, and annoy Sherlock. Or stay where he was, get absolutely soaked in whatever disgusting fluid his annoying little brother had put in there, because it sure as hell wouldn’t just be water, and make Sherlock laugh.

It was a no-brainer really.

Mycroft stayed where he was.

 

Sherlock crowed in delight when he saw his prim and proper brother get covered in green slime.

This was the most fun he’d had in ages.

He would never forget the look on his brother’s face. Never.

 

Mycroft had exactly the same thought, opportunities to see Sherlock laugh in real life, not through a security camera, were few and far between

All he wanted was for his brother to be happy. And if seeing Mycroft humiliated was what made Sherlock happy, then he would gladly offer himself up anytime.

Wasn’t that what a proper big brother did?

But Sherlock must never find out.

‘Sherlock!’

‘Yes, dear brother?’

Behind him Dr. Watson was laughing so hard he’d collapsed against the wall. But he just looked at Sherlock, appearing pissed off, but in reality he wanted nothing more than to laugh with them.

‘I hope you realise you will be paying for this suit.’

And it was one of his favourites too.

‘Phuh, it was getting too small for you anyway, you really should pay more attention to your diet Mycroft.’

Oh, that’s it.

Mycroft sprang forward and tackled his brother to the ground.

‘Oof!’

‘Good to know I can still surprise you, brother.’

Now, you will suffer.

‘Get off me! You’re too fat.’

And just for that…

Mycroft pushed his slimy hand through his black curls until Sherlock’s hair was absolutely covered.

‘That makes us even, I should think.’

John had completely given up on standing and had moved on to lying on the floor.

‘You might want to check on your doctor, Sherly, he’s making some rather strange sounds, in the mean time I will be making use of your shower.’

And before his brother could say or do anything, or realise that there was only one bathroom and that he would have to wait his turn, Mycroft fled to the bathroom.

 

After washing himself four times, despite that, the smell wasn’t completely gone and there was still slime in his hair, but the water had gone cold, although that wasn’t a bad thing because he knew Sherlock still had to shower, he decided to get out.

And he immediately realised that although there were towels, a grand total of two, he had no clean clothes, his old ones still lying on the bathroom floor, impersonating a green puddle of goo.

He fished his underwear out of the puddle, and tried to wash it as well as he could, in the process making double sure Sherlock would have absolutely no warm water left.

He put the wet pants on with a grimace and tied his towel around his waist, he wouldn’t put it past Sherlock to try and rip his towel off.

 

Sherlock was stewing in the living room when he finally heard Mycroft come down the stairs.

‘Finally! I realise you need a long time to wash that enormous body of yours, but did you have to spend so much time in there?!’

‘Some things can’t be rushed Sherlock.’

He turned his face away in disgust when Mycroft finally appeared in his field of vision.

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, Mycroft, couldn’t you at least put some clothes on?’

Mycroft raised his eyebrow imperiously.

‘You honestly expected me to put on slimed clothes? Don’t be stupid Sherlock, you planned this whole thing, surely you knew what the consequences would be?’

Suddenly they both heard a choked noise coming from the kitchen.

John stood in the doorway, a forgotten tea cup in his hand, staring at Mycroft.

‘John! John, why are your pupils dilated?!’

He quickly backed into the kitchen muttering something incomprehensible under his breath.

‘John! You can’t hide from this!’

And Sherlock chased his friend into the kitchen.

Mycroft smirked, he knew the doctor’s reaction was quite probable just a reflex: the shock combined with a half-naked body, no matter whose it was, but Sherlock would think John was attracted to his ‘fat, ugly, annoying, brother’, oh this was brilliant.

He followed them into the kitchen, this was too good an opportunity to waste.

Sherlock had crowded John against the kitchen counter.

‘John, you are not allowed to be attracted to Mycroft, do you understand me? You’re not even to think of him, he’s already insufferable enough.’

‘My dear John, I am unbelievable flattered, really, you mustn’t listen to Sherlock, it’s completely fine.’

John had the desperate look of a mouse trapped by two fat cats.

‘Look Mycroft, I...’

‘Don’t look at him John!’

‘On the contrary John, look if you want, I don’t mind at all.’

Mycroft was having the time of his life. He’d allowed Sherlock to pull on over him, he deserved this small revenge.

‘No, no, I’m not gay.’

Mycroft came closer and whispered in John’s ear.

‘Maybe I could help you change your mind.’

The blond whimpered.

Sherlock finally caught on to Mycroft’s game.

‘Mycroft, stop messing with him. Go put some clothes on.’

He drew back.

‘But it such fun to see him react, besides, wouldn’t he prefer me like this?’

‘Mycroft.’

Sherlock bit back warningly.

‘Alright, fine.’

He went back to his normal demeanour.

‘I’ll borrow some of your clothes then, brother.’

‘Yes, fine, go ahead.’

For the moment Sherlock couldn’t care less what his brother did, he needed to un-traumatise John. Stupid Mycroft. Although Sherlock had to admit it was slightly funny, he would certainly be using this to poke fun at John in the future.

 

John still hadn’t fully recovered by the time Mycroft came back downstairs, and the glimpse of Mycroft in one of his brother’s shirts, which were already tight on Sherlock, so on Mycroft they were even tighter, really didn’t help.

Sherlock noticed this of course.

‘Get out, Mycroft.’

‘Nothing would deligth me more, good bye Dr. Watson, always a pleasure.’

With this he winked at John, an honest-to-god wink.

‘Sherlock, I expect to receive a new suit soon.’

And he left before his brother could send a scathing reply his way.

Chapter Text

‘Sherlock, it’s the middle of the night! We can’t just break into your brother’s house!’

He rolled his eyes. John’s shouts had far less impact when he whispered them.

‘Of course we can, John. He’ll be so annoyed we woke him up he’ll do anything to get rid of us as soon as possible.’

With that he bounded up the stairs and threw the door open with a bang, surprising the two? figures within.

Sherlock couldn’t believe his eyes, behind him he could hear John choking on his own spit, but he ignored that in favour of the absolutely shocking sight in front of him.

There was his brother, someone Sherlock had never ever wanted to think of as a sexual being, sitting in bed, naked, with his hands tied to the headboard and a strange man on his lap.

And as he showed rather obvious signs of arousal, which admittedly were lessening due to the shock of his little brother bursting in, it was clear Mycroft had volunteered, very enthusiastically, to be put in that position.

Before Sherlock could recover from this unexpected scene he’d stumbled upon, his brother’s, what, lover, shot up, jumped off the bed and marched to Sherlock and John with a face like thunder and lightning shooting from his eyes.

‘GET OUT!’

And he pushed them back into the hallway and slammed the door shut.

Sherlock stood stock still, staring at the closed door, he would have kept standing there, completely in shock, if it weren’t for John.

The blond was less shocked than his friend, firstly because it wasn’t his brother, and secondly, he’d had more experiences with walking in on people, or people walking in on him, although still, Mycroft.

And in such a vulnerable position as well, he’d imagined Mycroft to want control in every aspect of his life, but well, it wasn’t really any of his business what the man did in the privacy of his home, was it.

‘Come on, Sherlock, we’ll uh, we’ll come back another time.’

That shook Sherlock from his self-imposed vow of silence.

‘No. I don’t have time to cater to Mycroft’s… proclivities.’

He shuddered.

‘I need that data. Immediately. And he’s the only one who can get it for me right now.’

John sighed, if the image of his naked brother couldn’t deter Sherlock, nothing could.

‘Fine, then we’ll just wait downstairs, ok?’

Sherlock made a noise of agreement and started moving in the direction of the stairs. After a few steps, however, he stopped and turned around.

‘However much I would like to go and forget this ever happened, I am in need of your connections, Mycroft. Urgently.’

There was no sound of acknowledgement from behind the door, but Sherlock gave a self-satisfied nod and went downstairs, so John assumed they would in fact soon be joined by Mycroft and maybe also by the mystery man.

 

Inside the bedroom Vincent had immediately released Mycroft from his bonds.

‘Shit, are you alright?’

Mycroft raised an eyebrow.

‘Why wouldn’t I be? The look of utter shock and disgust on Sherlock’s face far outweighs the indignity of being discovered in such a situation. Besides, it was time he found out about you anyway, this just saved me the trouble.’

Vincent snorted. Of course his partner would react in such a deadpan manner. Although, it was true that Vincent himself had reacted the exact same way when his own sister had walked in on him that one time, in fact, she had been more embarrassed than him.

Then they heard Sherlock shout from the hallway.

He let his head drop on Mycroft’s chest.

‘Ugh. Your brother’s a prat.’

‘That he is, a stubborn one, at that, so we might as well go see what he wants, he won’t leave before he has what he wants.’

‘A big prat.’

Vincent took a deep breath and rolled off the bed.

‘Let’s go face the music, shall we.’

He held out his hand to his lover.

‘Although the look of surprise on their faces would be highly amusing, might I suggest getting dressed first?’

With a long-suffering sigh Vincent turned towards the closet, where he unearthed a pair of pyjama pants and an old shirt, he absolutely refused to get properly dressed for those cockblocking shits, besides he was hoping they could resume their activities when they were finally alone again.

Mycroft followed his lead, his thoughts running along the same lines.

 

John had spent the entire five minutes they were waiting for his brother laughing at him.

Which was inexcusable.

Especially because Sherlock still hadn’t recovered enough to launch a counter-attack.

And he wouldn’t get any more time to pull himself together because he heard his brother and the other one come down the stairs.

Dressed in sleepwear?!

His brother was even further gone than he’d expected.

Apparently, Mycroft had no interest whatsoever in addressing the elephant in the room.

‘Well, brother, what was it you needed that necessitated your disturbing presence in my home, this late at night?’

Sherlock was temporarily ignoring his brother in order to stare at the openly smirking stranger.

Two years younger than Mycroft.

Desk job, uses the computer a lot.

Has a younger sibling. Probably a sister.

That was as far as he got before Mycroft distracted him.

‘Sherlock, John, this is Vincent. Vincent, this is my brother and his friend.’

John stepped forward with a cautious smile.

‘Sorry about that, uh, Vincent, and you too Mycroft, Sherlock’s uncontrollable on a good day, but if I’d known… anyway, uh, sorry.’

He trailed off awkwardly.

Vincent raised his eyebrow.

‘I’m sure you’ll understand I’m not exactly in a genial mood right now,’

English is not his first language.

‘but all the same, it is good to finally meet you.’

Originally from… Belgium?

‘Especially you, Sherlock, the mystery brother.’

He didn’t react, still staring at the man.

‘Sherlock. Stop deducing him. You said you were urgently in need of my connections?’

Mycroft sounded annoyed. Annoyed enough that he might actually kick him out without giving Sherlock what he needed. So, he shook his head, pushed the idea of his brother in a relationship away for now, and focused on the case.

‘Yes, I need the CCTV footage from yesterday, 2pm, Georgiana St.’

Mycroft sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

That is why you came here? You could have gone through the police.’

Sherlock huffed.

‘Lestrade refused to help.’

His brother levelled him with an exasperated stare.

‘Did he refuse on the grounds of it being too late?’

Sherlock’s silence said enough.

‘For fuck’s sake.’

Though it was mumbled, all three men had heard Mycroft’s utterance.

Mycroft never cursed!

This required further investigation.

Chapter Text

It was Mycroft’s first year at university and he had fallen into a set group of friends. Those same friends who had convinced him to get a tattoo, which should make clear what kind of company they were. The kind who got completely roaring drunk, thought up stupid things, and were immediately convinced that those stupid things were, in fact, absolutely brilliant ideas.

And so it came to pass that Mycroft, after a good number of drinks, agreed to play truth or dare.

Big mistake.

Although he gained quite a bit of blackmail material that evening, the others gained just as much on him. So afterwards, they enforced a silence of mutually assured destruction.

But on the night in question, they felt like nothing could go wrong.

Spoiler alert, a lot went wrong.

They were a group of five: Mycroft, David and his brother James, who was only invited because of David, but actually Mycroft liked him best, Michael, you can imagine the ‘Mike’ jokes, and lastly, William, who was a bit of a prat, admittedly, they were all prats, but William took it to a whole new level.

It started off normal, with everyone playing it safe and choosing ‘truth’, but when those questions turned to sexual experience and it came out that only Mycroft and James were still virgins and that Mycroft hadn’t even gone so far as a kiss, well, then the fun really started.

The next round, and by then they all were drunk enough to enter the everything-is-great-phase, James decided, for whatever stupid reason, to go for ‘dare’. William, the prat, didn’t even pause for a second before crowing delightedly.

‘I dare you to kiss posh Mike!’

That’s how they had decided to differentiate between Mycroft and Michael, posh Mike and Mike, honestly, sometimes Mycroft wondered what he was doing surrounded by such idiots.

James wavered for a second, conflicted, but then he took another drink for courage, stumbled over to Mycroft, dropped himself in his lap and planted one on him.

He was getting back up when The PratTM decided to open his mouth once again.

‘A real kiss Jamie, I want to see tongue.’

And see tongue he did.

Despite James’ state of inebriation and Mycroft’s inexperience it was a surprisingly good kiss, not that he had any frame of reference of course, but all in all, as far as first kisses went, it could have been worse.

Of course, this kiss upped the level of the whole game. It was decided to skip ‘truth’ and always go for a ‘dare’. But everyone was always sure not to ask anything too gay from anyone except Mycroft and James, the stupid bastards. Not that Mycroft particularly wanted to make out with any of the others, but still, the double standard annoyed him.

William had just returned from streaking across the grounds, thankfully no one had caught him, when he levelled an evil stare on Mycroft. He should have known The Prat would want revenge, but really, it had been too good an opportunity to pass up. Now, however, came the reckoning.

‘Posh Mike, since you were so excited to see me naked, I think it’s only fair you return the favour.’

Oh, fuck.

‘Strip.’

Luckily David came to his rescue, well, sort of.

‘Ugh, I don’t want to see him naked.’

Prat.

Unfortunately, William would not be deterred.

‘You just saw me naked, didn’t you?’

‘We didn’t see the whole thing, did we?’

‘Fine he can keep his pants on, don’t want to see his cock anyway.’

Clearly, William was dealing with a case of internalised homophobia.

This was the moment Mycroft should have decided to call an end to the game, but he was too drunk to realise that not doing it was an option. So, reluctantly, he began to strip.

He thanked his lucky stars that he’d lost so much weight the last two years, sure, he was still a bit chubby, but he was nowhere near as big as he was before. Not that that stopped the others from making fun of his stomach.

Complete, utter prats.

‘Look at all that hair!’

That was another sensitive point. At 18 years old, Mycroft was already very hairy, legs, chest, back, everything was covered in orange hair. And it did look extremely orange, his hair could sometimes pass for auburn, but his body hair could only ever be orange.

‘And those freckles.’

Yes, he was fat, had orange hair and had freckles, truly, it was a good thing he had his intelligence or Mycroft would have been completely miserable.

Thankfully they lost interest after that, and went on to the next dare. Mycroft was about to put his clothes back on when Michael, who was apparently contending for the title of The PratTM, interfered.

‘No, no, Mycroft, keep ‘em off, we didn’t give you permission to get dressed again.’

Cunt.

Then, with an evil glint in his eyes, David stood up.

‘I’m going to buy some more booze guys, carry on.’

Mycroft knew something about his smile wasn’t to be trusted, but the promise of more alcohol made him ignore the warning signs.

By the time David returned, Michael had gone streaking as well and James had been sent on ‘a quest for bras’.

He passed around the freshly bought beer but kept the plastic bag close to him.

‘Posh Mike, I’ve got a dare for you.’

Once again, Mycroft should have listened to that warning voice in his head that said the look on his face meant nothing good, but the alcohol had officially drowned out the voice of reason.

‘Bring it on.’

When in doubt, or drunk, go for false bravado.

‘I dare you,’

Que dramatic pause in which he revealed the content of the plastic bag.

‘to let us wax your chest.’

Well, shit.

The others were, of course, all for it. Had he really expected something else?

So, Mycroft was quickly blindfolded ‘It’ll hurt less if you can’t see it coming’ and Michael and William grabbed hold of his arms and legs, James still hadn’t returned, because ‘No struggling!’, while David prepared the wax strips.

Mycroft felt there was something strange going on with the pattern of the strips, but before he realised what it was, David had ripped off the first one.

‘FUCK! Jesus fucking Christ, fuck.’

They seemed to find his state of absolute agony hilarious, he could hear three kinds of drunken giggles. And before Mycroft had a chance to wiggle free and try to get away, David ripped off the second one and immediately thereafter the last one.

‘Fucking fuck, fuckers.’

He curled himself up on the floor. The pain was agonizing. How did people do this on a regular basis? He was dying.

The others had collapsed on the floor, laughing their arses off, while Mycroft inspected his battered chest.

Where previously there was hair, there was now irritated, red skin, he thought he even saw a few drops of blood as well.

And it was in the shape of an arrow.

The fucker had waxed a downwards pointing arrow on his chest.

Somehow, he would make him pay, no matter how long it would take, Mycroft would have his revenge.

I will fucking end you.

Chapter Text

https://www.bleedingcool.com/wp-content/uploads//2010/10/war-chief-570x570.jpg

His first try.

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Second try.

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The Sex Beard. Look at the floofy hair! Look at it!

 

 

Mycroft looked up from the paper his PA had just given him.

‘Anthea.’

‘Yes, sir?’

He waved at the paper in disgust.

‘What is this?’

‘An invitation, sir.’

Behind that perfectly crafted poker face, Anthea was laughing at him, he was sure of it.

‘Yes, I can see that.’

He let his disdain shine through.

‘The question is, why am I invited to this particular event?’

Now Anthea’s amusement became even more visible.

‘Because as a minor government official in the Department for Transport, it would attract attention if you didn’t attend.’

If Mycroft were drinking coffee, he would have spit it out.

‘You expect me to attend this ridiculousness?’

Anthea pulled a face of mock indignation.

‘It’s for a good cause, sir, you’re expected to attend, and participate. I’ve already confirmed your attendance.’

‘You did what?!’

This time Anthea had truly gone too far, there was no way he would play any part in this nonsense.

‘And a certain someone has expressed her joy at hearing you would dedicate yourself to such a cause.’

That cinched it, if she was aware, there was no way Mycroft could get out of it.

The grin on his PA’s face proved her glee at Mycroft’s situation, she did so enjoy needling him.

‘You’re expected to shave one last time the first of November, but after that the most you’re allowed to do is trimming and keeping it in shape.’

‘Yes, yes, I am aware of the procedure.’

And he was not looking forward to it, any facial hair always enhanced the gingerness of his hair, he only hoped that this time people were too intimidated by him to call him carrottop… he would have to avoid Sherlock for a month.

 

The first few days were a bit of a mess. He’d started off with a horseshoe type moustache, but, well, Anthea had made him trim it the moment he stepped foot in the office.

Next, he tried a regular moustache combined with a small goatee, but apparently his goatee was misshapen and he though he heard people whispering ‘pornstache’ while passing.

A bit fed up with these negative reactions (he hadn’t wanted to grow a moustache in the first place), he decided to just go for the full beard. This apparently was met with satisfaction, for he heard no more disparaging comments about his choice of facial hair.

In fact, he started to hear quite the opposite.

It began subtle, so subtle, that Mycroft first thought he was imagining it, due to residual sensitivity or something. But eventually, he had to admit that it wasn’t just in his head. People, be they acquaintance of stranger, were staring at him, staring with appreciation, even, dare he say it, lust.

How odd.

He was flattered of course, while Mycroft was by no means a virgin, it had been some time since anyone had openly appreciated his looks. And to think that all of it was because of his newly acquired beard, how strange.

 

Unfortunately, he couldn’t avoid seeing his brother this month. Although he was less apprehensive than he thought he would be, all the admiring looks he’d been given had boosted his confidence, he just knew Sherlock would be full of derogatory comments.

John saw him first. After a moment of confusion his face cleared in realisation.

‘Movember, is it?’

Mycroft sighed.

‘Unfortunately, yes. A man in my position must be prepared to make sacrifices.’

‘They forced you, didn’t they?’

Mycroft didn’t deign to respond to that ridiculous comment. It was absurd.

Sherlock happily used that silence to start his own snide observations.

‘Impersonating the homeless today, Carrottop?’

There it was.

‘At least I am able to grow a beard, Sherly.’

That should do it, his brother seemed incapable of growing a beard, well, that is to say, eventually hairs would appear on his face, but it made a very scraggly and unkempt look, and Sherlock was nothing if not vain.

Mycroft was able to escape 221B not that much later, with only a slightly bruised ego, it had gone better than expected, apparently even Sherlock liked his beard, not that he would ever admit that. 

 

Mycroft might have found all the extra attention flattering in the beginning, but now, after three weeks of people staring and sighing, sighing!, after him, it was starting to get on his nerves. Actually, scratch that, not starting, his nerves were already ‘gotten on’.

He thanked his lucky stars that he only had to get through on more week. Just one more week. Seven days, he should be able to survive seven days, right?

Oh no, there was Lady Smallwood, she had started looking at Mycroft like he was a drop of water and she had been lost in the desert for weeks, it was terrifying.

Just seven more days.

 

The day of the gala finally dawned. And not a moment too soon, Mycroft was feeling distinctly uncomfortable with all the keen looks he kept getting, it seemed even his PA was affected, luckily she was too professional to say anything, but Mycroft still noticed.

The moment he got home, he was shaving the damn thing. People kept undressing him with their eyes, sometimes he really abhorred his ability to know what others were thinking, some of the fantasies he’d picked up on, well, let’s just say that the saying ‘still waters run deep’ definitely had some merit.

A sudden hush distracted Mycroft in his attempts to become one with the upholstery. He craned his neck trying to see across all the people, apparently someone of importance had entered.

What the hell?

What on earth is the queen doing here?

Sure, the gala was being held on what were technically royal grounds, but still, no one had actually expected the queen to make an appearance.

And she was making her way to him. That is to say, she had honed in on him like an eagle hunting a juicy rabbit, and was now walking, a queen never runs, towards him with a particular glint in her eyes.

Oh dear God.

‘Your Majesty, what an unexpected pleasure,’

She interrupted him impatiently.

‘My dear Mycroft, let us go somewhere more private.’

She looked him up and down.

‘You may continue calling us ‘Your Majesty’.’

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

No, no way he was doing this.

Time to be exiled.

‘My apologies, your Majesty,’

Why are you touching me??

‘But I have to leave immediately, my brother, uh, has had an accident, and uh,’

Mycroft was slowly backing away but the queen matched him step for step, not once releasing her grip on his tie.

‘He really does need me, right now, I, I should go.’

And he ripped himself free and ran, yes, ran, desperate times called for desperate measures, to the exit.

This was it, his career was officially ruined. There were a lot of things he’d do for Queen and Country, but this, this was one step too far.

Mycroft thought he was out of danger for now, but lo and behold, a quite substantial group of people had followed him out of the hall.

He was so distracted by the sight of all those people coming after him, that he hadn’t noticed Lady Smallwood coming up beside him.

He did notice, however, her ripping his jacket from him.

‘Ah! What? Lady Smallwood, what on earth?’

‘Come now, Mycroft, surely this cannot come as a surprise.’

Mycroft had no time, or desire, to answer her, as he started running again.

By the time he finally felt the cool London air on his face, a group of fifty dignitaries, national and foreign, were chasing him. Literally chasing, they were the hunters and he was the poor deer running for his life.

The next time he looked behind him, the group had grown, and he saw total strangers among its ranks. Apparently they had taken one look at him, and decided they wanted in on the chase too.

This complicated matters immensely.

Before, he only needed to outrun his hunters, which was easy enough, he knew that treadmill was a good idea, but now, no direction was safe. A realisation that was cemented by a blur coming from his right and tackling him to the ground.

And now that blur, Mycroft still hadn’t gotten a good look at his attacker, was tearing at his trousers. Now would be a good time to get up and start running again.

He finally succeeded in kicking his attacker between the legs, no matter the gender, that was a sensitive spot, picked himself up and ran, this time, minus right shoe and with his trousers ripped at the knee.

He needed to get out of sight right this minute.

While he didn’t need his mental map of London as much as Sherlock did, he did have it, ready for use. The closest safe spot was 221B. John should be out on a date and Sherlock was, well Sherlock. If even Sherlock was afflicted by his beard, all was truly lost. He’d try and make his way home, but he didn’t think he’d make it that far.

He barely made it to Baker Street as it was. His left shoe was gone, as was his waistcoat, his shirt was missing its left sleeve and all the buttons had been torn off. His arms, legs and chest also proved that fingernails should count as a murder weapon: he was full of scratches, some of which were bleeding.

As he stormed up the stairs, Mrs Hudson, who had let him in, and in the process had gotten her hands on his remaining sleeve, tried her best to follow him up, but he slammed the door in her face and slumped against it.

Finally, safe.

‘Mycroft, oh my god, what happened?’

No!

He jumped and ran to the other side of the room, keeping a couch between himself and John, who was trying to get a closer look at him.

‘Stay away from me! Sherlock!’

He looked around wildly for his brother.

‘Sherlock, help me!’

At this point it should be mentioned that Mycroft had been shocked into letting rational thought behind at the gala, his mind was focused on survival.

Sherlock, who had been doing an experiment of some kind in the kitchen, but was lured to the living room by Mycroft’s shouting, was astounded by the pure panic in his brother’s voice.

‘John, back away.’

He observed his brother, his distraught face, his ripped clothes, the scratches on him and understood that his brother had had to physically fend off a large group of attackers with sexual intentions. He didn’t quite understand how Mycroft had found himself in such a situation, but that didn’t matter for now, first, he needed to make sure his brother calmed down.

He slowly approached Mycroft, noticing that while John was perceived as a threat, Sherlock was allowed to come close.

‘Mycroft, it’s alright, you’re safe.’

He’d reached his brother at this point and carefully laid a hand on his shoulder. He didn’t flinch, as Sherlock had expected, but grabbed Sherlock by the shoulders and moved them around so that he had another layer of protection between himself and the doctor, with Sherlock’s back to John.

John was watching this all with wide eyes, but had stopped moving, he’d seen enough during his time in the army to know that standing absolutely still was the best thing he could do right now. That didn’t stop him from making observations however, and as he catalogued Mycroft’s wounds and ripped clothes, he came to the same conclusion as Sherlock.

Mycroft had a tight grip on Sherlock and shook him a little.

‘It’s the beard Sherlock, the beard. It’s a sex beard! It’s cursed! I need to get rid of it, get rid of it. It’s not safe, I’m not safe.’

He shot a panicked look in John’s direction.

‘Don’t let him get to me. The curse will take him too. I’m not safe, not safe.’

Mycroft’s muttering continued along the same line so Sherlock shut him out. Mycroft seemed convinced his beard was the cause of everything that had happened to him. He clearly had had a mental breakdown.

But at that moment Mrs. Hudson, who’d been trying to get the door open all this time, finally succeeded and almost fell inside the room.

Mycroft let out a whimper and tried to hide himself behind his brother.

‘Mycroft, there you are! Why don’t you come down with me?’

She wiggled her eyebrows.

‘We can go down as well, I’m ever so curious whether you’re all ginger or not. I have this wonderful homemade cure against beard burn, so no need to hold back.’

This, it seems, was too much for Mycroft, who finally snapped. He pushed Sherlock away and dashed up the stairs to the bathroom. The beard had to go. Now.

John, who was absolutely flabbergasted, could only watch as Mrs. Hudson prepared to follow Mycroft up the stairs. Luckily Sherlock had kept hold of his mental faculties and manhandled his landlady out the door, then closed that door and placed a chair in front of it for good measure.

‘Sherlock… what the hell just happened.’

‘I have no idea, John, no idea.’

He paused.

‘Mycroft was muttering something about his beard being the reason why people kept attacking him, he feared you would go after him too.’

John coughed awkwardly.

‘Well, he did look very good with that beard, but I wouldn’t, you know, jump him or anything.’

Sherlock shot him a deathly glare, his brother looked as horrible as ever, thank you very much, but had to concede John had a point.

‘Even if, somehow, someone found it in themselves to find my brother attractive, it would never bring about a reaction of this size. So, the question is, what caused such a big group of people to completely lose control? Is it, in fact, like Mycroft suggested, because of the beard, or is there something else at play?’

Before John could express his disbelief over this theory, two things happened at once. Firstly Mycroft came downstairs, his face clean-shaven, with a few nicks, showing his main concern was to get it off as soon as possible, and secondly, Mrs. Hudson once again succeeded in entering the apartment, having grabbed her key from downstairs and, obviously being stronger than expected, having pushed the chair out of the way.

She stopped in the doorway however, when she spotted a beardless Mycroft. The obsessed look fled from her face and was replaced by an embarrassed one.

‘Oh dear, I, I don’t know what came over me, I do apologise Mr. Holmes, I, I’ll just go downstairs now.

Mycroft, who had already been tense because of his proximity to John and had tensed even more due to Mrs. Hudson’s sudden appearance, let out a loud sigh of relief.

‘It’s over, thank God. I’m safe.’

John decided to ignore all the unexplainable things around him until such a time where they became explainable and focused on Mycroft’s wounds.

‘Come on then, Mycroft, those scratches look nasty, sit down and let me take a look.’

While John was occupied with tending to his brother, Sherlock snuck upstairs. The reappearance of Mrs. Hudson’s common sense after seeing Mycroft without a beard was interesting to say the least. Maybe his brothers whispered accusations of ‘It’s the beard, it’s the beard!’ weren’t so far off after all, at the very least, it couldn’t hurt to collect some samples. Just in case.

Chapter Text

Mycroft got his third tattoo after a particularly hard mission. It happened while he was still in the legwork days of his career, and while he generally had an almost unblemished track record, there were those few missions that went wrong, spectacularly, horribly wrong, and this was one of them.

He was supposed to infiltrate a human-traffic ring that had been wreaking havoc across the continent and that had started to make occasional forays into British territory as well. Mycroft’s bosses had decided that they needed to choke the weed before it grows, so to speak, and had sent their best field agent in. Who had been killed almost immediately.

Five agents had been sent in, found out and eliminated before they decided to let Mycroft give it a try, it was very early in his legwork days, you see, and he hadn’t yet acquired his current reputation.

He got in, and on top of that, hadn’t been executed within a week, which had given his superiors hope that he might bring the mission to a successful end.

Which he did, technically speaking, anyway.

He did succeed in eliminating the top level of the ring, he just kind of, eliminated everyone else along with them, including the victims… As I said, spectacularly wrong.

It’s not like he did it on purpose anyway. Everyone agreed with him that he couldn’t have known, and that any other agent would have acted the same way. That didn’t make it any easier to deal with though. He had nightmares for months on end. But to everyone else he seemed completely fine, like he couldn’t care less.

(This was, incidentally, the start of his nickname-turned-codename ‘The Iceman’. He took that name and made it his own. They liked him being emotionless? He’d give them emotionless.)

And all of it, every single, miserable bit, was the fault of one ‘Mr. Dupont’. Mycroft had thought him a low-level flunky, an arse licker whose dream it was to belong to the inner circle, but who would never get there. How wrong he was.

Dupont was the head of the whole organisation and had known Mycroft was a spy the entire time. And he’d played him like a damn fiddle. It was only at the end, by pure coincidence, that Mycroft discovered what was going on, and even then, that knowledge came too late to make any real difference.

Mycroft’s only solace in this whole debacle was that Dupont had definitely died in the explosion that took out the entire compound. He’d seen him enter with his own eyes, and he hadn’t come back out again.

After the whole, dreadful mission was over Mycroft swore to himself that he would never underestimate anyone, ever again.

To remind himself of that vow he went and got another tattoo on his left shoulder blade. He needed to remember this painful lesson forever.

Someone who seems to be a simple pawn, could very well be a queen.

He was reminded of that sharply when Jim Moriarty entered the scene.

Chapter Text

Mycroft found himself in quite an unusual situation.

His day had started normal enough: he woke up at 5 am, after sleeping his normal four and a half hours, washed himself, ate breakfast (a cup of tea and toast), got into his car at 6 and arrived at the office half an hour later.

Then followed a regular work day, with several prevented catastrophes, both Sherlock related – his brother had once again fled rehab – and not, interrupted occasionally by Anthea bringing him cups of tea.

At 11 pm he arrived home, relaxed for an hour and then started readying himself for bed.

It was while showering that the event occurred which made this particular day deviate from its regular pattern.

He died, you see.

Mycroft Holmes, a man who had survived torture, a man who had lived through several assassination attempts, a man of whom they said he looked Death in the eyes until Death himself looked away, a man rumoured to be immortal, died by slipping while getting out of the shower and hitting his head.

The last thing going through his mind was: ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’

Well, that is to say, the last thing before he suddenly found himself floating next to his body.

He was still dripping wet, he could see drops of water rolling of him and falling towards the floor, but they disappeared before they could hit the floor. And although he still had his towel in his hands (a ghost towel?) he couldn’t dry himself, no matter how long he tried.

When he tried to grab another towel, he realised that while he his own body and his towel felt as firm and real as ever, he couldn’t actually touch anything else.

Well, this might become a problem.

He stayed there the whole night, staring at his dead body, trying to wrap his head around the implications of this.

Mycroft was startled out of his reverie by the ringing of the doorbell.

There was no clock in the bathroom, so he couldn’t be sure, but Mycroft guessed it was 6 am and his driver had arrived. When no one opened the driver would no doubt ring once again, then call him on his cell phone, when that would go unanswered as well he would ring Anthea, who would try to contact him and would eventually come and enter the house herself.

And so it happened – it was good to know that being dead hadn’t altered his mental powers.

When Mycroft heard his PA carefully ascent the stairs he remembered at once he was still naked, he desperately wrapped his towel around his waist, but then realised that it was pointless because his dead, naked body lay there in all its glory.

To his surprise Anthea didn’t seem to notice his incorporeal, semi-transparent, floating body and instead only saw his corpse. He was proud to see there was no shrill screaming, just a stunned look in her eyes, and, after checking for a pulse and finding none, that stunned look was joined by a deeply sorrowful one.

He watched as she called to request a crime scene unit.

He watched as they declared his death an accident.

He watched as his parents came to identify his body.

He watched as his mother started screaming and collapsed.

He watched as his father cried and tried to comfort his wife.

He watched as Sherlock snuck inside in the middle of the night.

He watched as his little brother draped himself over his lifeless chest and wept.

He watched and could do nothing.

He watched until he couldn’t bear the sight of his parents just going through the motions and of his brother throwing himself into drugs again and again.

And so, he fled.

His flight led him all across the world. To all the places he wished he’d visited when he was alive. To all the places he had visited, but hadn’t been able to truly experience. Even to all the places he didn’t want to visit.

It took him five years to admit to himself what he was doing, and another two years to make the decision to return and to actually make his way back (he might not tire, but he still had to float the entire way).

Dead or not, he was a big brother, and big brothers should always look after their younger brothers, always. He’d been shirking that duty lately, and that was unacceptable, Sherlock might even be…

Please, God, no.

He went to look in on his parents first. They looked so old. But he could see they had started to recover from his death.

When he heard them talking about Sherlock he almost couldn’t believe it. His little brother was finally clean. And he was now a ‘consulting detective’, only Sherlock could invent his own profession. And on top of that his parents were convinced he had found a romantic partner as well, one John Watson, although Sherlock himself ‘keeps denying it, just friends, the silly boy’. Well, Mycroft was prepared to believe ‘just friends’, but even so, he would keep an eye out.

He returned to London with nervous anticipation. While he would be overjoyed to see his brother happy and healthy, he was sure his heart would break when Sherlock’s gaze passed right through him like everyone else’s, he had barely recovered from that happening with his parents.

Not once in Mycroft’s travels had anyone shown any signs of noticing him, he’d gone to spiritual places, he haunted seances, but nothing ever happened.

And there he was. Mycroft felt tears spring into his eyes – during those seven years of no on noticing him he’d stopped masking every emotion – he looked so different. Before, Sherlock had looked borderline anorexic and with dirty and matted hair. But now, while he was still skinny he looked much healthier, and his dark curls bounced with every step.

Following him around was a short, blond haired man with a military bearing.

That must be John Watson.

Mycroft observed as they lived their lives. John went to work as a doctor while his brother stayed home, laid on the couch – and Sherlock had called him lazy – and spent an inordinate amount of time in his mind palace.

On the second day of his observations, Sherlock received a text that sent him aflutter.

‘John! A case!’

The doctor dropped what he was doing and followed his brother down the stairs and out the door.

It was a good thing Mycroft had seen the text, because he had to follow on foot. He so wanted to see his little brother in his element.

Sherlock was still at the crime scene when Mycroft arrived, he’d long since mastered the art of going as fast as possible (a mixture of running and gliding, he was ever so glad no one could see him) and it wasn’t that far away from Baker Street in the first place.

But Mycroft hadn’t even come close enough to hear what his brother was saying when he noticed a silver-haired detective staring his way with wide eyes. He turned around, curious as to what the man could have seen, but saw nothing out of the ordinary, when he turned back he saw the man had come carefully come closer and realised he was looking at him!

Mycroft was so shocked that someone could see him that he stayed completely still. The detective was still approaching him, moving carefully as if Mycroft was a wounded animal.

‘You alright there?’

They were far enough removed from the crime scene that only Sherlock had noticed the detective’s careful moving. When he heard him speak to thin air he drew closer.

‘What are you doing, Lestrade? The murder scene is about 100 meters to your left, I should think that would be your main concern.’

Lestrade shot him a disbelieving look and gestured in Mycroft’s direction.

‘I’m trying to find out why there is a naked man with only a towel around his waist, Sherlock, I should think that to be a mystery you would find intriguing.’

Mycroft watched as Sherlock’s expression screamed ‘what kind of idiot are you?!’

‘There is no one here, Lestrade, naked or otherwise, I will not let your desperation for sexual stimulation hinder The Work!’

At this the detective reddened in angry embarrassment.

‘Are you seriously expecting me to believe you don’t see him?!’

He threw his hands up. In doing so he hit Mycroft, who let out a shocked gasp at the feeling.

The detective immediately drew his hand back and started to apologise when Sherlock let out a strangled sound.

‘What, what was that?’

He was desperately searching the area for another glimpse. Mycroft felt a stab of pain go through his chest at the look on his brother’s face.

‘What do you mean, what was that? I accidently hit him.’

He shot another apologetic look Mycroft’s way and was surprised by the emotion in his eyes as he looked at Sherlock.

‘Do you know each oth- ‘

‘Do it again!’

‘Sherlock, what?’

Lestrade’s gaze flicked between the two of them in confusion, Mycroft still stood as if transfixed and Sherlock had an obsessed gleam in his eyes.

‘Touch. Him. Again.’

‘Now, Sherlock, see here,’

This time Mycroft was the one to interrupt him.

‘No, please.’

He held out his hand.

‘Please.’

Lestrade just shook his head and sighed.

‘Fine.’

He reached out and shook Mycroft’s hand.

Once again, he felt the strange feeling resonate through his whole body. But that feeling was quickly forgotten when he saw his brother’s face.

‘Oh, Sherlock.’

‘Mycroft? How? I don’t, what’s going on?’

He rounded on Lestrade.

‘Is this some kind of joke? How dare you!’

This might be Mycroft’s only chance to do this and he wasn’t going to let Sherlock waste it by yelling at some detective. Keeping hold of Lestrade’s hand, he had a feeling that point of contact was what was making him corporeal, he reached out to Sherlock.

‘Sherlock, don’t, it’s me. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but it’s me.’

Sherlock had gasped at the feeling of his brother’s hand on his shoulder, and looked at him with angry desperation in his eyes.

‘Prove it. If this is real, prove it. What’s the code?’

Mycroft almost laughed in relief. When they were little and Sherlock still adored his older brother they’d often played together. And after Sherlock had seen a film with clones he’d come up with a code word they could use to prove none of them was a clone, they’d never shared that word with anyone.

‘Sherrinford.’

Sherlock seemed to collapse in on himself but just managed to keep himself upright.

‘It’s you.’

The two brothers fell into each other’s arms and sank to the ground, both whispering feverishly to each other.

‘I’m here, Sherlock, I’ve got you.’

‘It’s you, it’s really you, I missed you, Mycroft.’

Chapter Text

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a kind merchant and his wife. They were also quite rich.

But the kind merchant didn’t care for wealth or riches, the thing he desired most in life was a child.

For years it seemed that his wish would go unfulfilled, until, one happy day, his wife discovered she was with child.

Their happiness knew no bounds.

Nine months later, their son was born. With hair as red as a Weasley and eyes as blue as the sky.

The boy’s name was Mycroft Siger Holmes. And from the very beginning it was obvious he was oh so very smart.

They lived a happy life until Mycroft’s tenth year, when fate, or rather, lighting struck. His father died instantly.

The loss devastated the two who stayed behind. Mycroft reacted by closing himself off, he changed from a happy, carefree child to a closed off one, who was ever so serious and didn’t have any time or interest in such childish pursuits as playing.

His mother couldn’t bear being alone and remarried almost immediately, with another merchant, one Charles Augustus Magnussen.

Mycroft’s new stepfather brought with him two children, twins – his wife had died four years previous – Irene and James ‘It’s Jim!’, they were two years younger than Mycroft.

He knew at once that Magnussen and his brood were bad new, but his mother wouldn’t listen to his pleas.

Magnussen treated him well enough as long as his mother was nearby, the moment she was out of earshot he let his true colours shine.

Jim and Irene were absolute monsters, and while his mother did notice that, she thought nothing of it, she figured she was just spoiled by her own son’s good behaviour.

Mycroft had a plan to expose Magnussen for what he truly was, but before he could implement it, his mother suddenly died. He knew it wasn’t an accident, but there was no way to prove it.

From that moment on, his life changed drastically.

Mycroft had become their slave. They took his fine clothes and dressed him in rags, they barred him from his room and made him sleep in the attic, they denied him their food and gave him only bread and water. They gave him lists of chores to do and punished him when he ‘misbehaved’.

His only solace in the misery his life had become were the two old servants, Sherlock and John. They’d been there since before he was born and they took care of him. Sherlock could sometimes distract Jim and Irene from torturing him – both were oddly obsessed with the old man – while John patched him up and snuck him some food.

This continued, day in, day out, with Mycroft getting more downtrodden with every passing day.

Until one day, it was announced that the King and Queen were throwing a feast to celebrate (read: find a partner for) their son, the crown prince, Gregory. The feast was to take place exactly a year from then, on Mycroft’s 18th birthday.

Mycroft longed to go. He needed an escape from his current life, even if only for a night. John had told him multiple times he should just run away and never look back, but Sherlock understood why he wouldn’t do that. He refused to be driven out of his own home. Mycroft wanted revenge, Magnussen had killed his mother and he and his children had made his life a living hell for the past seven years, he had to make them pay.

Irene and Jim talked of little else than the ball, how they would ensnare the crown prince and become queen or prince consort. Mycroft snorted at their delusions, the prince was no doubt a stuck-up snob who would marry another royal snob from another country, they’d have better chances with one of the nobles.

He used what little money he’d been able to hide away to buy himself a suit, it was a little worn and the cut made obvious it was an old one, but it was his.

Misfortune befell him a week before the feast however, Jim discovered the suit and took great pleasure in setting it on fire right in front of him. Magnussen smacked him for his ‘presumptuousness’ and Jim and Irene taunted him about his desire to go to the ball. ‘They wouldn’t even have let you inside, Fatcroft! You’re less than the dirt on our boots! You should be grateful we keep you as a servant, you’re nothing!’

The night of the ball, when the terrible trio had already left, Mycroft sat in his room, crying. He only wanted this one good thing to happen to him and they ruined it, like they ruined everything. It just wasn’t fair.

‘Ah, young man, don’t you know, life isn’t fair. So, occasionally, if you want something, you have to cheat.’

Mycroft’s head shot up. In front of him stood a woman he didn’t recognise. She was dressed completely in black, wearing a skirt and a vest, but in a way he’d never seen before. She was looking at something she held in her hand, a little black box, the buttons of which she was constantly pressing.

‘So then, you are Mycroft Holmes, and you want to go to the ball tonight?’

He hesitantly nodded, she only looked up for a split second before going back to whatever that was in her hand.

‘Easy enough.’

She pressed more buttons.

‘There we go. Be home by midnight, or it’ll disappear.’

And before Mycroft could ask what on earth she was talking about she was gone. Not a second later a silver mist descended on him and he started tingling all over. When the mist disappeared, he was dressed in the most exquisite dress suit he had ever seen, it fit him like a glove too – and it was even better than what Jim had been wearing.

He almost floated downstairs and went in search of Sherlock, who took one look at the young man and grinned.

‘Come on, then, I’ll get the carriage ready, you wouldn’t want to be late.’

When Mycroft arrived, the festivities were already in full swing. He tried to slip inside without anyone noticing him, but when he entered an immediate hush fell, all wondered who this handsome stranger was.

After a few seconds of everyone staring at him, one of the men started towards him. When he got closer, Mycroft could see it was the crown prince.

He saw Jim and Irene frown at the attention he was getting, although they didn’t seem to have realised who he was, and then the prince was in front of him.

The royal bowed and offered his hand.

‘May I have this dance?’

Mycroft gave him a stunned nod and shakily took the offered hand.

The prince led him to the middle of the room and carefully pulled him close.

‘I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you before. Might I know your name?’

Mycroft opened his mouth for the first time that evening.

‘I, um, I am called Mycroft, your grace.’

‘There’s no need to call me ‘your grace’, Mycroft, we’re dancing, you can call me Greg.’

‘I, of course, Gregory.’

Greg shot him a smile.

‘That’s fine too.’

As they kept dancing and kept talking, Mycroft relaxed slightly and started enjoying himself. Gregory seemed so much nicer than he’d expected. And the murderous looks on his stepsiblings’ faces made it even better, especially since they still hadn’t recognised him.

After dancing for a while longer, Gregory led him outside, to a secluded spot in the gardens, and they sat down on a bench.

They were just leaning in for a tentative kiss when Mycroft heard the clock start ringing. He pulled back immediately and jumped up.

‘I need to go!’

Gregory was dismayed.

‘What? Why?’

He had no time to explain.

‘I’m sorry, I can’t, I have to go.’

But in his mad dash out of the gardens, he tripped and landed in an especially thorny rose bush. The thorns stuck into his coat and shirt and he just couldn’t get loose. In his desperation, he just ripped them off and continued running bare chested.

Gregory picked up the shirt and watched in desperation as Mycroft got further and further away.

‘Will I ever see you again?!’

But Mycroft had no breath to answer and just kept running.

That would have been the end of it if Gregory hadn’t been so incredibly stubborn. He let it be known that on the night of the ball he had met the man with whom he’d like to spend his life. He visited everyone who had been at the ball and had every young man try on the discarded shirt. But no matter how many people tried it on, it never truly fit.

Eventually he arrived at Mycroft’s home.

He was showed in and told that James was the only young man in the house. And while Jim enthusiastically tried on the shirt, and in the process made it clear to Greg that they could have so much more fun together without any clothes whatsoever, it didn’t fit him either.

Gregory had exited the mansion and was just about to leave for the next stop on his list, when Sherlock attracted his attention.

‘There’s another young man here, you know.’

And he led Greg to the kitchen, where Mycroft was just cleaning.

The prince saw the shocked but hopeful look on the man’s face and felt that this might be it. Besides, he was pretty sure that was the face he’d almost kissed that night, albeit much dirtier right now.

Magnussen had followed them there and tried to dissuade him, but Gregory would not let himself be stopped. He needed to find him.

So, when Mycroft put on the shirt and it fit him perfectly, Greg wasn’t even that surprised, he just smiled at him.

‘I do believe you owe me a kiss.’

Mycroft smiled back tentatively but before he could say anything, Magnussen exploded.

‘This isn’t possible! What did you do boy?!’

Forgetting the prince was there, Magnussen moved as if to smack him. Before he could land a hit however, Sherlock got between them, he was determined not to let him harm a single hair on Mycroft’s head ever again, his reign of terror was finally over.

While Sherlock dealt with Magnussen, Mycroft and Gregory shared their first kiss. And it was simply magical.

Together they rode back to the palace, where Greg loudly proclaimed to the king and queen that his search had finally come to an end. They were wed within a month.

And they lived happily ever after.

Chapter Text

Mycroft didn’t like to wear pyjamas. He’d stopped wearing them when he was 18, after the incident with Sherlock and the itching powder. Instead, he preferred to just sleep in his underwear (not that his underwear was that much safer from Sherlock, but he drew the line at sleeping naked).

He slightly regretted that decision now, however. He’d been staying at a hotel – because his house had suddenly decided to harbour a colony of rats and he absolutely refused to return before the exterminator was sure he’d gotten them all – and had been peacefully asleep, when he’d been rudely awakened by the sound of the door to his rooms slamming open. Before Mycroft could grab something to defend himself with – why did he put his gun so far away from the bed – two masked men entered and pointed their own guns at him. He was then led down to the lobby, where the other guests had been corralled as well.

So far, Mycroft could see five men, all masked, all holding guns. It quickly became obvious to him that he wasn’t the target, in fact, they did not even know who he was, which was quite a bonus for him actually. If they thought him to be just another harmless guest, he could observe them without them noticing, and they would be unprepared for anything he might do.

His assessment of the situation now temporarily on hold, he became painfully aware of his state of dress, or rather, undress. Most of the other guests were wearing a t-shirt and sleeping pants combination, (two guests were fully dressed, but he could see it happened in a hurry, so Mycroft assumed they had been discovered naked and had been allowed to dress) there were only two other men, who like him, were only wearing boxer briefs, but they were younger and fitter than Mycroft was. He knew very well this wasn’t the time to think about things like that, but he couldn’t help his old anxieties flaring up.

Mycroft’s insecurities were silenced by the sight of one of the men climbing on the counter. This one was obviously the leader.

In his thirties, divorced, one daughter, has had a string of failed relationships, owns a dog,

‘Ladies and gentlemen, we do apologise for the inconvenience, but amongst you there is a man we would very much like to speak with.’

Very charismatic, has a day job that involves public speaking,

‘We have a bit of a bone to pick with him, I’m sure you understand. So, if Mycroft Holmes would kindly step forward?’

Ah, apparently, he was mistaken, he was the target after all, but it seemed they didn’t know what he looked like…

Nobody moved following the man’s declaration, although they all shot each other anxious looks, begging whoever this Mycroft Holmes was to make himself known. Mycroft didn’t move, he would wait and see what happened.

The man didn’t look at all surprised no one had stepped forward.

‘I suppose I should give you a bit of encouragement.’

And he shot a random woman – mid-twenties, engaged, has a cat – in the leg. She cried out and sank to the floor, a shocked silence rang through the air.

‘Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t hit anything vital, although someone might want to try and stop the bleeding.’

He said this casually, as if he’d done nothing more noteworthy than taking out the trash.

Still no one moved, so Mycroft pushed himself forward and went check on the woman himself. His movement startled another woman from her shocked transfixedness and joined him. Apparently, she was a doctor, which made Mycroft feel a whole lot better about this, because while he had had experience with treating bullet wounds, he was by no means an expert. While this was happening, the man spoke again.

‘Come on now, Mister Holmes, my next shot might not be so harmless.’

At this he made a decision, it was clear this man had no qualms whatsoever about shooting innocent citizens, and he felt that preventing several murders being committed far outweighed the opportunity to observe unnoticed. So even though he still had no idea what they wanted or what they had planned for him and even though he still thought that ‘bravery was by far the kindest word for stupidity’, Mycroft stepped forward. The man’s mouth curled in a cruel smirk.

‘Mycroft Holmes, in the flesh, literally it seems. You do look different without your usual armour, much less impressing. Middle age hit hard, did it?’

Mycroft did his best to ignore the comments and the subsequent flaring up of his insecurities.

‘I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage. You seem to know my name, but I cannot recall ever having met you. Nor do I enjoy having a first meeting only in my underwear, at least not while the other party is fully clothed.’

He had to act confident and cocky, he needed to throw his opponent off balance if he wanted to gain more knowledge. But his remarks didn’t get the hoped-for result.

‘Funny man. You want an introduction? Very well, I am your judge, jury and executioner. And this, Holmes, is your trial.’

Mycroft was still no closer to finding out what this was about, obviously he had done something this man deemed unforgivable, but the list of ‘unforgivable’ decisions he made every day was so very long, this could be about anything.

‘Ah, and of what am I accused, exactly?’

He just knew this would not end well.

‘You killed my brother! And for that, you will pay.’

Mycroft had a fleeting thought at the utter movie-likeness of this situation before he sharply reminded himself that this was not a movie, and the police would most likely not rush in at the last second, he was on his own.

‘If I am the only one accused, might you not let the other go? They are innocent in this.’

He thought it very unlikely the man would agree with this, but he had to try. (He also needed to make sure the other guests kept seeing him as the victim in this situation, if they started to think of him as ‘the bad guy’, all was most certainly lost.)

‘Oh no, no. This is a public trial, everyone needs to witness justice being done.’

He gave the other masked men a sign and they started herding the others towards the walls, including the wounded woman, opening up a clear space around Mycroft and their leader.

‘Mycroft Holmes, you stand accused of murdering Jonathan Brown, how do you plead?’

Jonathan Brown, so that was what this was about. His feeling of unease grew stronger, he hadn’t been aware Jonathan had had a brother, and Mycroft made it a point to know everything about his employees, for that was what Jonathan had been, at least until he had been caught trying to access classified information. They never found out what he was planning to do with it however, he killed himself in his cell before they could question him.

‘Jonathan killed himself.’

The man’s face contorted with rage.

‘You made him do it! You locked him up!’

Mycroft was aware of the guests watching with open eyes, but decided this might be one of those times where disclosing information that would normally be kept away from the public was a good idea, to a certain extent, of course. Jonathan’s brother had wanted a public ‘trial’, so the least Mycroft could do was set the guests against him some more, he didn’t think it would do any good, the man had guns, but he didn’t see any way out of this, so what harm could it do.

‘Jonathan was taken into police custody after being caught trying to steal highly confidential information. Before he could be questioned, he took his own life. I was only informed of this after it was over. I am sorry for your loss, but I had nothing to do with it.’

It was a little white lie. On paper, Jonathan had indeed been taken by the police, in reality, he had been locked up in one of MI6’s own cells. And Mycroft had been very aware of the goings-on, in fact, he had been the one to catch Jonathan in the first place. And it seemed his captor was at least partly aware of the truth.

‘You’re lying, Holmes! You locked him away yourself.

He stalked closer, brandishing his gun as if he wasn’t sure whether to smack Mycroft with it or shoot him.

Whatever he had planned didn’t matter. Mycroft had realised that he was going to have to do something, and quickly, if he wanted to get out of this alive, if he let this continue the way it was going, he would be dead in fifteen minutes, so, he decided to take action. It was dangerous, and there was a chance he, and others, would die, but something needed to be done.

When the man got close enough and brought his arm down – he had decided on the smacking – Mycroft dove under it and grabbed hold the wrist holding the gun, with the side of his other hand he put pressure on the man’s elbow, and with this lock (his former instructor would have been proud but still critical about his technique, the man was a perfectionist) he brought his opponent to the ground and got hold of the gun. He then immediately yanked him back up to use as a shield and brought the gun to his head. At this point, the four other men had pointed their own guns at him.

‘Drop the guns or I’ll shoot him.’

Mycroft was working on the assumption that they wouldn’t want to hurt their leader, if he was wrong, this could get messy.

He was wrong.

One of the men shot at him but hit Mycroft’s living shield instead. Mycroft fired back immediately, taking great care in his aim because he really didn’t want to hit any of the other hostages, and retreated to the counter, still dragging Jonathan’s brother with him.

Four against one was by no means a fair fight, but Mycroft was an excellent marksman, and while the man who was currently bleeding on him had been a remarkable shot as well, his previous henchmen were not. Still, by the time he’d gotten all of them, one of them had succeeded in hitting him in the shoulder.

Great, another scar to add to the collection.

He could only hope someone outside had heard the gunshots and had called the police, because he really was bleeding quite heavily, and none of the others dared to come close to him.

Stupid goldfish.

Luck was with him however, because he soon heard sirens approaching. This sound shocked them all into movement and a few of them cautiously moved outside.

Armed officers came in after that, and after assessing the situation and coming to the conclusion the attackers were either dead or wounded – they did keep an eye on Mycroft after seeing his distance from the other hostages and the gun he’d pushed away from him – they let in the medical personnel and began shepherding the unharmed people outside.

Mycroft walked outside, he refused to be carried out on a stretcher, and reluctantly allowed one of the medics take a look at him, but not before pilfering the man’s phone and calling his assistant. It was simply unacceptable that someone had found out where he was.

He was still yelling in the phone, and still in his underwear, when Sherlock showed up with John on his heels.

Sherlock made the obligatory fat jokes and tried to smirk but he didn’t succeed in hiding his worry.

‘You should let John do that, he’s better than the idiot who’s treating you now.’

John, who had indeed been observing him in a very doctorly way, shot the paramedic an apologising look.

‘The man’s doing fine, Sherlock, besides, I doubt Mycroft would want an ex-army doctor messing around with his shoulder.’

Mycroft wisely held his tongue, while he did trust Dr. Watson’s capabilities, it wouldn’t do to aggravate the man currently ‘messing around with his shoulder’.

‘The important question here, Sherlock, is how did you know I was involved? How did you even know I was here?’

Mycroft followed Sherlock’s gaze to a homeless woman across the street, the woman nodded to his brother and slipped away. He turned back to Sherlock and shot him an incredulous look.

‘You had me trailed by your network?!’

Sherlock scowled and looked away, while John smiled widely.

‘Of course not, don’t be ridiculous.’

Mycroft burst out laughing – maybe the blood loss was affecting him more than he had realised.

‘Oh, brother mine, you are no longer allowed to complain about my ‘meddling’ as you put it. You lost the moral high ground, Sherlock, you’re doing exactly the same as me, albeit with different resources.’

He was still chuckling when Sherlock stalked away. His little brother always managed to surprise him.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was being tortured in the most cruel way imaginable, he hadn’t seen it coming at all, which made his current situation even more jarring. He mentally braced himself for the next volley, he absolutely refused to beg, for he knew his captors would show him no mercy.

He didn’t think he could be blamed for this, to be honest, there had been no signs at all that he should’ve been on guard, but then, when are there ever?

Mycroft had come home, not suspecting a thing, and then…

He was sitting next to Sherlock. On the way to the beach. The beach! This was a most cruel and unusual punishment of his parents and he wracked his brain trying to think what he possibly could have done to deserve this. Sure, maybe he could have called home a bit more, and maybe he had been rude to Sherlock before he’d left (although Sherlock had started it so Mycroft didn’t think that should count), but none of those things could possibly have this as its consequence, the punishment just didn’t fit the crime.

Mycroft had returned from his first year at university the day before and had been lulled into a false sense of security by the as-usual goings-on of the Holmes household: surly Sherlock, silent Daddy and Mummy who kept calling him Myke. But this morning, this morning he had been driven into the car without being given the chance to protest and had been told they were going to the beach. Mycroft had first tried to play the ‘but I don’t have a swimsuit’ card, but to no avail, Mummy had apparently ‘taken care of it’. So now not only would he have to suffer at the beach, he would probably have to do it in red speedos or something equally horrifying. The only redeeming feature of this whole situation was that Sherlock was looking forward to this just as much as he was, of course, the downside of Sherlock’s suffering was that he would take his annoyance out on Mycroft.

When they finally arrived, they’d succeeded in insulting each other no less than 20 times, without even speaking a word. Not one sound had been uttered on the back seat, something his parents had cheerfully ignored while carrying on their own conversation.

Mummy gave him an ominous looking bag and pushed towards one of those little changing cubicles.

‘Go on now, Myke, and don’t forget to put on enough sunscreen, you know how quickly you burn.’

Mycroft gritted his teeth and went to change. Behind him, he heard Mummy give Sherlock similar instructions.

You’re not alone in this hell. You suffer, but Sherlock suffers too. You’ll get through this.

Inside the cubicle he trepidatiously opened the bag, but to his relief there were no speedos of any colour, instead there was a respectable pair of board shorts, the pattern left a bit to be desired, dancing cupcakes, but it could have been worse. He covered every part of his body he could reach in sunscreen, his mother had been right about him burning easily, not to mention the freckles he got, but resigned himself to asking someone else to do his back. He dithered as long as he could, but eventually Sherlock started shouting at him through the door and threatened to break it open, so Mycroft took a breath and stepped outside to face the music.

His brother took one look at him and gleefully opened his mouth, but the appearance of their mother spared Mycroft from Sherlock’s comments, for now at least, it was nothing more than a stay of execution.

‘Finally, Myke, did you – ‘

She stopped, looking at his right arm in shock.

Oh, shit.

He’d been so busy wallowing in his own misery that he’d forgotten that swim trunks meant bare chest, and bare chest meant visible tattoo. A tattoo his parents didn’t yet know about.

Fucking hell.

‘Mycroft Siger Holmes! Is that a tattoo?! Why on earth- ‘

His mother suddenly became aware of the fact that they were in public and took a deep breath.

‘We will talk about this later, young man, make no mistake.’

She turned around and marched off to the beach, leaving him alone with his brother. Sherlock briefly shot him a look of sympathy, to show Mycroft his appreciation of the tattoo, then went back to his normal self and enjoyed the fact that his older brother was the ‘problem child’ for once.

‘You’re in for it now, Fatcroft, how does it feel to be the disappointment?’

Sherlock walked away laughing and Mycroft sighed and started after him. At least this meant he wouldn’t have to make small talk with his parents, he could just plant himself on the beach, under a parasol and read a book. Mycroft was lucky he never went anywhere without a book on him, otherwise he would have nothing to do.

Sherlock, who wasn’t in the habit of lugging books around, although he might be regretting ever making fun of the habit now, fled into the water. His parents sat down talking, his mother shouting him filthy looks and his father trying to calm her down, so Mycroft went to sit as far away from them as he could, while still remaining in the shade.

Unfortunately, Mycroft was a very fast reader, and it didn’t take long before he had finished the book. He absolutely refused to go in the water so he started people-watching, and trying to deduce what he could.

In his thirties, married, here with a mistress, but he’s having another affair with a man, who he’s texting right now.

Mid-twenties, here with friends, her girlfriend just broke up with her.

Forty, recently divorced, has a dog,

His deductions were interrupted by the sight of a brown-haired boy looking at him. The boy was about his age and here with his parents, who were talking to another couple next to them. Mycroft looked back and raised his eyebrow, in response the boy just grinned, got up, and started walking towards him.

Mycroft shot a look at his parents who remained unaware of the approaching stranger and then looked back when the boy arrived at his side and dropped himself down next to the ginger.

‘Hi. I’m Greg.’

18, plays guitar, studying to be a policeman,

Mycroft just stared at him.

No siblings, has a cat at home,

‘Normally when I tell someone my name, they answer with theirs.’

He shook himself out of his deductions, no need to ignore basic courtesy.

‘My apologies, I’m Mycroft.’

The boy, Greg, smiled widely.

‘Cool name. It’s so unique, not boring like ‘Greg’.’

‘Unfortunately, not everyone is appreciative of ‘unique’ names. Many’s the time I wished for a simple name.’

Mycroft suddenly became aware that his parents were not so subtly staring at them and he flushed. Greg noticed his embarrassment and quickly discerned the reason behind him. He shot him another easy smile and stood up.

‘Want to go for a walk?’

Mycroft grasped the opportunity like it was a life-line and he was drowning. He knew that if Greg left his parents would immediately descend on him like hungry locusts, and he was not taking that chance.

 ‘I would like that very much.’

And without looking at his parents he got up and started walking with Greg.

‘I love your tattoo, by the way.’

Mycroft snorted.

‘Tell that to my mother.’

‘She wasn’t a fan?’

‘Not at all. Of course, it didn’t help that today was the first time she realised its existence.’

Greg winced in sympathy.

‘That’s just bad planning, mate, you should have eased her into it.’

Mycroft shot the boy an amused look.

‘I’m beginning to realise that now, yes.’

As they walked along the beach, Mycroft found himself talking to Greg with ease and realised he quite enjoyed his company. They kept on chatting and Mycroft didn’t realise how late it had gotten until Sherlock suddenly appeared in front of them.

‘Mycroft! Mummy said to say goodbye to your boyfriend, we’re leaving.’

And with that he ran off again.

Mycroft briefly closed his eyes – I’m going to kill him – and turned back to Greg, who was looking at him with an amused smile.

‘The joys of a younger sibling, huh?’

‘Oh, you have no idea.’

Mycroft realised he really didn’t want to say goodbye yet, but he also knew better than to keep Mummy waiting, especially now that she was angry with him.

‘I must go.’

‘Yeah.’

It seemed Greg was as put out by their imminent separation as he was. Mycroft saw the other boy visibly gather his nerves and was shocked when Greg suddenly came close and pressed a brief kiss on his lips. Before he could say or do anything, Greg uttered another soft ‘bye’ and hurried away. Mycroft stared after him, shocked. Maybe this day wasn’t so bad after all.

‘Mycroft Holmes! Get over here!’

Never mind.

Chapter Text

John stared up at the house in front of him and then looked back at the keys in his hand. This couldn’t possibly be the right place? When Sherlock had pressed the keys in his hand and told him to go meet someone for information that was ‘incredibly important to The Work, John!’, he had thought it would be some abandoned, shady building. Instead, John stood in front of a lovely looking home, and he thought it unbelievable the owners of this house, who were probably ‘perfectly normal, thank you very much’ would want anything to do with the Hot Mess™ that was Sherlock, let alone give him housekeys.

Still, there was nothing for it.

When John tried the key he still wasn’t convinced they would fit, but the door opened without a problem. He felt weird going inside just like that, but Sherlock had told him not to attract attention to himself while still outside. Only once he was inside, could he call out.

‘Hello?’

Silence. He hesitantly moved a bit further inside.

‘This is John Watson? I, uh, I was told to come here by Sherlock Holmes?’

Oh, this was ridiculous. John was just about to explore one of the rooms on his left when he heard someone calling from upstairs.

‘Come on up, John!’

There was something very familiar about that voice. He was almost entirely sure he had heard it before, but where?

He’d gotten to the top of the stairs and was trying to figure out which one of the doors he should open when the voice called again, coming from the door at the end of the hallway.

‘In here, John!’

This time he realised whose voice it was, it was Mycroft’s! John immediately relaxed, he could deal with Mycroft. Although it was weird that Mycroft should live in such a normal looking home, John was just glad he wasn’t being kidnapped again.

But when he opened the door, he saw something he’d never have imagined.

Mycroft was naked.

He’d been standing with his back to John, looking at some files, near the cabinet, but when he had heard the door open, he’d turned around.

‘Mycroft!’

John hurriedly looked away.

‘Yes, John? Is something the matter?’

He looked genuinely clueless, as if receiving guests while fully naked was perfectly normal, and John was just overreacting.

John didn’t say anything and just continued looking at the wall.

‘I believe Sherlock wanted you to meet with me?’

John would never forgive Sherlock for this. Never.

‘I’ll just, uh, let you get dressed.’

He was already turned around and half out the door when Mycroft stopped him.

‘Nonsense, John, I won’t be getting dressed until I have to leave, and I’m sure I have nothing you haven’t seen before.’

John was just about to make his typical ‘Not gay!’ protestation when Mycroft interrupted him with a smile.

‘I meant in a medical capacity, Doctor Watson.’

‘Right, yes.’

John took a deep breath. Mycroft was right, it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before. And he’d be damned if he gave him the pleasure of seeing John squirm. He could do this.

He’d still kill Sherlock when he got home though.

Chapter Text

John walked in on Sherlock watching his brother slump down on the couch.

'Sherlock?'

'Shhh, John, it's almost time.'

'Time?'

'Yes, John, the serum has almost done its job.'

At that time Mycroft let out a groan, that seemed to be what Sherlock was waiting for, because he sprang forward and grabbed his brother's wrist to start checking his pulse.

John moved forward in concern.

'Sherlock, did you drug him?'

'Hmm, what? Yes, obviously.'

He pushed Mycroft up so he could lean against the sofa without falling.

'What's your name?'

Mycroft answered in a clear voice that belied his current condition.

'Mycroft Siger Holmes.'

'How old are you?'

'42.'

John made another attempt at figuring out what the fuck was going on.

'Sherlock. What. Did. You. Do.'

Sherlock seemed to ignore the threat in his flatmate's voice.

'I gave Mycroft a truth serum, John, do keep up.'

He focused on his brother again.

'How many cameras are in this flat?'

'Two.'

Mycroft's answer was almost drowned out by John's shocked gasp of 'cameras?'.

'Where are they?'

Sherlock was well aware where they were, but needed to check if the drug was really working.

'In the kitchen, behind the cabinet, and in the living room, behind the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language.'

He grinned at John, who was still wearily looking around him.

'It's working! Now then, John, what would you like to know?'

The blond looked uncomfortable.

'I don't know Sherlock, we shouldn't be doing this.'

'Oh, come on, John! Don't you want something to hold over his head.'

He could see John just needed a bit more convincing.

'He knows everything about you, wouldn't it be fair to even the playing field a little?'

That cinched it. John would like to know a bit more about the mysterious Mycroft Holmes.

'Alright then.'

'I knew you'd come around eventually. What do you want to ask him?'

'Don't you want to ask him something? I assume you drugged him because you had questions.'

Sherlock very noticeably refused to look at John.

'You did this just because? Sherlock!'

'I was bored, John, I wanted to know if it could be done.'

He gestured to his brother.

'Cleary, it can.'

John shook his head in dismay, but resigned himself to his impending, and probably brutal, death, Mycroft was going to kill him. All the more reason to make the most of his last moments.

'Alright, fine. Um. What do you think of John Watson?'

Sherlock shot him a look but John just shrugged, he didn't exactly have a pre-made list of questions titled 'what to ask Mycroft Holmes when he's drugged with some kind of truth serum'.

'He’s dangerous.'

This shocked him a bit.

'Why is he dangerous?'

'He holds a strong influence over Sherlock. For now, it has been a positive one, but that could change any moment. He could utterly ruin him, and I don’t know if I could bring him back from that.'

Sherlock didn't like that answer. Not at all.

'How's the diet.'

'Good.'

Sherlock shot his brother a disgruntled look. John wanted to distract him and desperately thought of another question. His eye landed on a book about the history of naval tattoos.

'Mycroft, do you have a tattoo?'

'Yes.'

A shocked silence fell over the room. Apparently, Sherlock hadn't known that.

'Where?'

'On my shoulder, chest and back.'

He had multiple?

Sherlock started unbuttoning his brother’s shirt silently, John didn't stop him, he was more than curious about what tattoos prim and proper Mycroft could possibly have.

But the consulting detective stopped moving when he saw the first splash of ink over his brother's heart.

John inhaled sharply.

It was Sherlock's name.

With trembling hands he started re-buttoning the shirt, John didn’t dare say a thing.

When Mycroft was once again fully covered, Sherlock gently laid him down, put a pillow under his head and a blanket over him, and backed away.

Mycroft woke up to the sound of his brother playing the violin. He wasn't entirely sure what had happened except the fact that Sherlock had drugged him. So, he was fully prepared to start shouting, but when he got up and looked at this brother, his tirade was stopped by a strange look in Sherlock's eyes. He felt uncomfortable receiving such an emotional look from his brother. It made him feel unsettled, what could have happened during the time he was unconscious?

He decided the best course of action was to leave, he'd come yell at Sherlock when he was less off-kilter.

Chapter Text

Mycroft woke up.

No that’s not right.

Sherlock woke up.

No, no, that’s not it either.

Ok, it’s like this. Mycroft woke up and found he was Sherlock. Sherlock woke up and found he was Mycroft.

I’m sure you can understand this generated some panic and confusion.

Mycroft had woken up first, instantly on alert, because this was not his room. This was his brother’s room, what on earth was he doing there? Had Sherlock kidnapped him? It seemed ridiculous, Sherlock might get through his security, but he could definitely take on his little brother. And yet, he could not think of another explanation of why he would end up in his brother’s bedroom, he checked under the blanket, completely naked at that.

He lifted the blanket again. Something was off here. Mycroft did not have such a flat stomach, nor did he remember shaving his chest hair, nor was his pubic hair black! He quickly dropped the sheet. Last time he checked, his cock did not look like that. What the devil was going on?

He went to run his hands through his hair but stopped when he felt more hair than expected. And it felt differently, it was curly?

Mycroft stumbled out of bed, with the sheet wrapped tightly around him, and snuck out of the bedroom to the bathroom.

In the mirror he saw not himself, but, as he’d started to suspect but had tried to deny on the basis of it being simply impossible, he saw his brother’s reflexion staring back at him. He was startled by someone knocking on the door.

‘Sherlock? I’m leaving now. Do you need something from the shops?’

That was Doctor Watson. Who thought he was Sherlock.

‘No, I don’t need anything.’

How does one speak to ones flatmate/friend/blogger? More importantly, how did Sherlock talk to his flatmate/friend/blogger? But John didn’t seem to notice anything strange, because Mycroft just heard him gather up his things and leave the apartment.

First things first, he needed to find Sherlock. Mycroft himself would have woken up already and started working – he didn’t need to go to the office today, but he had plenty to do at home – but his brother would probably still be asleep, hopefully.

He heard a phone start ringing and when he finally found it and looked at the caller ID, his heart sank, his brother was awake.

‘Yes?’

‘Brother, sleeping in your pants? How uncivilised of you. And you really should shave your chest, this is getting out of hand.’

‘Sherlock! Stop looking at my body and focus! This is serious, we need to figure out what happened and how to undo this.’

‘Yes, yes, that’s all very important, and I’ll get right on that, but first I think I’ll go take a walk, it’s such nice weather outside, I don’t think I’ll need to put any clothes on.’

‘Sherlock… don’t you dare.’

‘I wonder how the Queen will react to her favourite minion streaking? It’s positively scandalous. And after that walk maybe I could get you a piercing. What’s your opinion on nipple piercings, Mycroft? Or we could just go for a tattoo. Oh well, I guess I’ll see, bye bye.'

Mycroft uttered more threats but Sherlock had already put down the phone.

He was going to kill the brat.

Chapter Text

Mycroft dropped down onto his throne and adjusted his toga to at least keep the important parts covered. Well, that was something else, he should disguise himself as a bull more often, he hadn’t had such a work-out in ages.

His lovely post-coital bliss was rudely interrupted however by his little brother showing up. Mycroft loved Sherlock, make no mistake, but it was better for everyone if he would just stay on his own turf.

And of course, he brought Redbeard. Mycroft hated dogs, and besides, what good did it do to have a guard dog, if you never let it one place long enough for it to actually guard things?

Sherlock took one look at his blissed-out brother and pulled a face of disgust.

‘Really, Mycroft. Another one? You’re married! Or did you conveniently forget that?’

Mycroft refused to let his brother kill his good mood.

‘Oh please, brother, you do not get to lecture me on how marriages should work, you kidnapped your own husband and trapped him into staying with you! And besides, Anthea knew what she was getting into and didn’t mind one bit, she’s been having a lot of fun on her own.’

He wasn’t even lying about that. Anthea and Mycroft had worked out a lovely arrangement where they each did their own thing, and sometimes they even shared. Their marriage was truly blessed.

‘John chose to be with me, at least I don’t have to go around disguised as an animal, just to get a leg over. Are you afraid your natural looks will put them off, Fatcroft?’

Yes, because no-one’s ever heard of ‘Stockholm syndrome’, not that Mycroft particularly cared about John, but still, there was no need for Sherlock to be so hypocritical. And mortals were always awed by his godly looks, thank you very much.

‘Oh, I’ll show you how I easy I can seduce humans with my natural looks, little brother. If you’ll excuse me, I have certain detective on my mind.’

Sherlock could whine all he wanted, but Mycroft wasn’t planning on listening. There was this lovely silver fox that needed hunting.

‘For fuck’s sake, Mycroft, you can’t just appear in front of him naked! My eyes are burning!’

Chapter Text

Mycroft was going to kill his friends.

First, he had to find some clothes, figure out where he was and then make his way back. But once he had done all that, they were dead.

They’d gone drinking the night before, and Mycroft didn’t exactly have all the details, there may have been some tequila involved, but he vaguely remembered something about ‘a dropping’. Which would explain why he had woken up in some garden in a part of town he didn’t recognise. It didn’t explain however, why he was only wearing his pants, but Mycroft figured that was just his friends trying (and failing) to be funny.

It was early enough in the morning that there weren’t too many people around, but not early enough for there to be nobody.

He looked at the house in which garden he had woken up. The lights were on, which was a good sign, but he had no idea who lived there and how they might react to a half-naked hung-over student asking for clothes.

Still, there was nothing for it, Mycroft couldn’t exactly go around dressed in only his pants. Besides, he could ask whoever lived in the house, where they were, which would help him immensely in his quest to go back to his dorm. Luckily, he didn’t have any classes today, so once he got back, he’d be able to just sleep it off.

Taking a deep breath, and after checking no one was passing in the street, he darted to the front door and rang the doorbell. After an agonising thirty seconds, in which Mycroft kept looking around frantically, hoping no one would see him, the door opened. And in the doorway stood an attractive brown-haired boy. An attractive brown-haired boy he knew. An attractive brown-haired boy who had kissed him and had then run away. Fuck.

‘Mycroft?!’

‘Oh, Greg, I, uh, I didn’t know you lived here, well, this is a bit awkward.’

To say the least. Smooth talking, Mycroft, very smooth.

‘I just, um, my friends stripped me and dropped me in your garden. Could I, uh, borrow some clothes?’

Greg was still staring at him in shock.

‘Greg?’

This got a reaction.

‘Yes, yes, of course, come on in, you must be freezing.’

He would have been yes, if he hadn’t started blushing like an idiot the moment he’d recognised Greg. Stupid teenage hormones.

‘Follow me.’

Mycroft followed Greg into his bedroom – he was half-naked in the bedroom of a boy who’d kissed him! – where the latter dug some sweatpants and a hoodie out of his closet. He turned around but quickly stepped back when he noticed how close Mycroft stood to him, it seemed that Greg then also realised the situation – the boy I kissed is standing half-naked in my bedroom! – and he hurriedly made his exit.

Greg was almost out the door when Mycroft’s stomach growled. He flushed and went to apologise but Greg interrupted him.

‘Come eat some breakfast when you’re done. I make a mean omelette that works wonders against hangovers.’

He shot Mycroft a teasing grin.

‘You look like you need all the help you can get.’

It was true that Mycroft was fighting a terrible head-ache, and though he absolutely did not feel like eating, he’d learned by now that eating was the best thing he could do right now.

So, when he was dressed, with the sweatpants being too short but the hoodie too big, he hesitantly left the room and followed the noise. Standing in the doorway, he saw Greg standing at the cooker, singing along with the radio, and dancing to the music. After a particularly well executed twirl, Greg spotted Mycroft, flushed and abruptly stopped moving.

‘Um, sit down, it won’t take long. Do you want to drink something?’

Mycroft moved to the table and shot Greg a friendly, if a bit hesitant, smile.

‘Just water, please.’

Greg answered Mycroft’s small smile with a massive grin that seemed to take over his whole face.

‘One water, coming right up.’

He turned his attention back to the egg and Mycroft braced himself for an awkward silence, but it wasn’t to be.

‘So, your friends stripped you, huh? Nice friends.’

‘Ugh, they’re bastards.’

His host let out a snort.

‘Oh, I’m pretty sure my friends would do exactly the same thing to me, I’m just lucky it hasn’t crossed their minds yet.’

‘Then I hope for your sake it never does.’

What was going on? Even though Mycroft would kill for some aspirin and a comfortable bed, he was enjoying this time with Greg. Just like their talk on the beach, it felt so easy.

And the easy conversation lasted all through breakfast and after, until Greg looked at the clock – they’d been talking for over an hour by then – and announced he needed to go to class.

After lending Mycroft some shoes and explaining where they were, they stood on the street in front of the house. Mycroft had to go left, Greg right.

Greg was just about to turn away, when Mycroft mustered up his courage, take a chance, Mycroft, and gave Greg a brief kiss.

‘Bye, Greg.’

And then he walked – Holmes’ don’t run – away.

Chapter Text

In front of Greg stood a handsome, pale, ginger haired man, dressed only in a pair of loose white trousers, with thick, golden bracelets around his wrists, his chest and shoulders completely bespeckled with freckles. How the man had come to stand in front him, Greg wasn’t entirely sure, but he wasn’t complaining.

Greg had just been polishing an old dusty lamp, when…

No way. There was no fucking way this was actually happening. Impossible.

The man – genie? – rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.

‘Yes, I am a genie, yes, you get three wishes, yes, the exact same rules as in the movie Aladdin count, with one extra: you cannot wish for world peace, that one is simply impossible. Any questions?’

Oh. My. God.

‘Um.’

Greg couldn’t believe it. He wanted to believe it, sure, but this was simply too good to be true.

‘I can see you need some time to think on it. Just rub the lamp to call me back.’

The sarcastic tone in which these words were spoken and the mumbled last words which sounded suspiciously like ‘stupid goldfish’, made Greg think that maybe this genie wasn’t the happy Robin Williams kind. But he did vanish into thin air, which lent credit to the whole genie thing – although Greg was quietly disappointed there was no puff of blue smoke, but even after knowing the ginger for 10 seconds he knew blue smoke wouldn’t really be his thing.

Having decided the man maybe was a real genie, he started to think about what he could wish. Greg was a firm believer of the saying ‘power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’ and in his experience as a detective he had learned that everyone had a darkness inside them, so he knew he had to be careful with what he wished. He absolutely did not want to go power crazy, he’d keep it to things that were semi-realistic and would help him in real life.

Maybe he’d even go the Aladdin route and wish the genie free. If the genie wanted that of course, maybe he was content to just hang out in his lamp, coming up every once in a while to fulfil a wish and then go back to chilling. Time for another talk.

Greg rubbed the lamp again.

‘Yes?’

Definitely not the Robin Williams kind.

‘What’s your name?’

The genie was flabbergasted. Greg got the feeling he hadn’t been asked that question for a long time.

‘My name is Mycroft Holmes.’

Even though Mycroft Holmes wasn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill name, Greg wasn’t really that surprised, it fit the genie somehow.

‘So, what do people generally wish for?’

The genie sighed.

‘Oh, the usual, riches, knowledge, power, a lot of people are fan of the latter it seems.’

‘Yeah, I can see that.’

There was a semi-comfortable silence in which Greg mulled this over and Mycroft studied his fingernails.

‘Can I ask you something potentially rude?’

Mycroft raised his eyebrow.

‘Of course, Master.’

Greg scowled.

‘Do you have to call me that? My name’s Greg, you know. Anyway, what I wanted to know, did you use to be a normal human? Or do genies just look like humans? Or is this not your actual appearance but you changed as to look human?’

Greg thought his curiosity shocked Mycroft a little, that is, if he read the miniscule widening of his eyes correctly.

‘I was indeed a human, a long time ago. This is my actual body, if I could change shapes do you not think I would have done so?’

The last was said with a self-deprecating smile. Clearly, the lamp did not have a mirror.

‘Do you mind me asking how you became a genie?’

At this question, the genie’s expression fell.

‘My brother…’

Mycroft had to visually force himself to continue. Greg felt guilty for asking, but he couldn’t deny his burning curiosity, and besides, Mycroft didn’t have to answer, right?

‘My brother, Sherlock, angered a powerful wizard. Sherlock was an absolute genius, but he paid no mind to the consequences of his actions. And when the wizard came for him… I had to protect him, so I made a deal with the wizard, I’d take the punishment meant for my brother, and Sherlock would walk free. I’ve been trapped in this lamp ever since. I don’t know what happened to Sherlock, I heard talk he’d just disappeared.’

Well, that was… bad.

‘I’m so sorry.’

Mycroft shook himself.

‘Ancient history, now, have you decided on your first wish?’

‘Just, one more question.’

‘Very well.’

‘What would you wish?’

Once again it seemed Greg had shocked the genie. This time he’d actually shocked him into silence.

‘Would you want to be free? Would you want to have your brother again?’

He felt horrible for pushing, but he really wanted to know.

‘I, all of the above?’

Greg snorted and Mycroft gave a hollow laugh.

‘Would it work? If I wished that, would it work?’

Mycroft hesitated.

‘I believe you could wish me free, but as I cannot bring people back from the dead… and even if I could, I am not sure Sherlock would appreciate having to deal with me in a completely new time.’

Greg could understand where Mycroft was coming from, but still…

‘What if you don’t bring him back from the dead? You said he disappeared, right? It may be that he disappeared because you wished him here, if you just wished him to the present.’

He could see the hope forming in the other man’s eyes.

‘That… might be possible.’

‘Well we’ll try that than, first I make my wish, then I wish your brother here, then I wish you free. How does that sound?’

Mycroft could hardly believe his ears. He’d never before dared to consider escaping his faith, and now it was all happening so fast.

‘Very well. Ma-, Greg, what is your first wish?’

During their talk Greg had been thinking hard on this. He wanted something practical, something that wouldn’t give him too much power, something relatively simple. He’d remembered how hard he always found it to lean new languages – he only spoke French and English; every other language had been a lost cause – and decided he could do something with that.

‘I wish to be able to speak, write and understand every language in existence.’

Mycroft was pleased by this wish; during their conversation Greg had proved himself to be a very remarkable man, and it was nice to see it confirmed.

‘So be it.’

Greg had been expecting at least something exciting to happen, a puff of smoke, a thunderclap, a magic spell… but there was nothing.

‘Did it, did it work?’

The genie looked offended.

‘Of course, it worked, I’m not an amateur.’

‘Right, right.’

Greg amusedly apologised. Apparently even genies could be indignant. He quickly pulled up his phone and googled ‘Latin text’, and though he knew it to be Latin, he could read it like English. He looked up in delight.

‘This is awesome!’

Mycroft gave a small, proud smile and then got a nervously exited look on his face.

‘And your second wish?’

Greg sensed the genie was nervous he wouldn’t go through with it, so he didn’t even pause.

‘I wish for your brother, Sherlock Holmes, to be brought here, to this time.’

Mycroft’s answer came quietly, as if he was afraid to speak his desire out loud.

‘So be it.’

And just like that a dirty, curly haired man appeared next to Greg. He looked around in confusion, but then his eyes landed on Mycroft and he completely ignored Greg to focus on his brother.

Greg was now very happy for his first wish, because Sherlock started talking immediately, and he knew he’d have understood nothing of it otherwise.

‘Mycroft! What am I doing here?’

‘Sherlock.’

This soft uttering of his name stopped Sherlock in his tracks. He took a better look at his surroundings – still ignoring Greg – and then looked back at his brother, who was still just staring at him. If Sherlock didn’t know better, he’d say there were tears in Mycroft’s eyes.

‘Mycroft, how long has it been?’

The genie just shook his head. Greg decided to make his presence known.

‘Um, Sherlock, was it? Right, I’m Greg. I found the lamp your brother was trapped in, and after I made my first wish, I wished for you to be here, because that’s what your brother said he would wish, and now I’m going to use my last wish to wish him free.’

Sherlock stared at him a few seconds, and Greg felt as if the man could stare into his soul. Then he just huffed and turned his attention back to his brother.

‘Well, get on with it then.’

This seemed to shake Mycroft out of his stupor.

‘Your third wish?’

Greg shot him a gentle smile.

‘I wish for you to be free, Mycroft.’

The genie took a deep, steadying breath.

‘So be it.’

The words had barely been spoken or the bracelets had cracked in two and fallen to the ground. Mycroft stared at his hands in disbelief.

‘I’m free…’

Sherlock shared a look with his brother and then, as if wanting to make up for this lapse in sentimentality, he briskly turned towards Greg.

‘So, I’m assuming we’re going to be staying with you?’

Greg felt like prey, being pinned by those piercing blue eyes.

‘I, what?’

Sherlock sighed as if cursing the stupidity of man.

‘You are directly responsible for my and Mycroft’s current homelessness, the least you can do is take us in.’

‘Now, Sherlock, we can’t possibly ask that of him.’

Mycroft felt the need to apologise for his little brother, old habits die hard, after all.

‘No, no, it’s, it’s fine. He’s got a point actually. You don’t have any identification either so… oh, this is going to be trouble.’

But still, Greg refused to be brought down by the logistic nightmare that was soon to follow. Mycroft and Sherlock would make for interesting housemates, to say the least.

Chapter Text

Mycroft’s fourth tattoo was a reference to the fable of the scorpion and the frog. He’d always enjoyed the story when he was younger, but now it had taken on a new meaning.

Under the imagine of the frog with the scorpion on its back, were the words ‘ab uno disce omnes’.

He got it after someone tried to kill him.

It wasn’t the first time someone had tried to kill him, it wasn’t even the most successful attempt – there was that one time with the poison where he’d come uncomfortably close to death – it was, however, the first time his attackers had tried to play on his emotions.

He’d met Alex in a pub, in those days he wasn’t yet powerful enough to be able to ignore the social niceties. Sure, Mycroft had been a bit wary of the sudden attention, but Alex had been so handsome, so charming, that Mycroft had been flattered out of his doubts. That had been a mistake.

Three months into their relationship, Mycroft had fallen asleep next to Alex, but woke up, in the middle of the night, alone, and hearing noises coming from his office.

Going to investigate, he found Alex at his desk, laptop open in front of him, trying to crack his password.

Mycroft must have made some kind of noise to alert the other of his presence, because next thing he knew, Alex had thrown a knife at him. A fucking knife. Who kills with knives anymore? Mycroft didn’t even know that was still a thing people did.

And apparently throwing just the one wasn’t enough – although Mycroft felt that having one knife stuck in you was more than enough – because the maniac had another one. This one to slash his throat, instead of sticking it in a shoulder.

Needless to say, Mycroft felt the need to protest this particular course of action. And, even with a knife in his shoulder, Mycroft was still one of her Majesty’s finest.

So, with only a few more drops of Mycroft’s blood spilled, Alex was quickly neutralised.

Mycroft learned three things from this unfortunate incident.

One, he should always be wary of knives.

Two, he needed a more secure place to store his laptop.

And three, he would never let anyone come that close again. He’d learned his lesson: people would only want to use him, that's just what they did.

When the knife wound had healed sufficiently, he headed to the tattoo parlour to remember number three.

He walked out with a tattoo on his upper arm and a steel casing around his heart.

Caring was not an advantage.

Chapter Text

Mycroft had expected to wake up naked, he’d put away his clothes before the change after all, he’d even expected maybe waking up somewhere unfamiliar, the wolf didn’t always stay in the cabin he locked himself in, but what he didn’t expect was to wake up curled around a strange man, especially a man who was still alive.

He tried to gently ease himself away from the still sleeping stranger, but his movements woke him up.

The man seemed totally comfortable in his arms and even smiled at Mycroft. Then a look of sudden realisation appeared on his face.

‘You don’t remember what happened, do you?’

Mycroft was still slowly pulling away and making calculations about how fast he could get to his clothes.

‘Uh, no, no, I don’t.’

The man let out a deep sigh.

‘Well, it’s like this, my name’s Greg by the way, I was walking in the woods when you appeared out of nowhere, I thought you were an actual wolf first, growled at me, sniffed me, growled some more, picked me up and brought me here.’

Mycroft was mortified, but Greg wasn’t finished yet.

‘Then when we got here, you put me in the corner and licked my face.’

Greg paused to smirk at him and Mycroft wished the floor would swallow him up. While he was glad he hadn’t killed anyone, he wasn’t exactly overjoyed that the wolf had licked someone’s face.

‘After that I could feel you in my mind. I got that your name is Mycroft, but anything else I could have learned was drowned out by the constant, repeated shouting of ‘Mate! Mate! Mate!’.

Mycroft was going to have to fake his death, there was no other way.

‘How, why are you so calm?’

Greg paused at this and then shrugged.

‘I think I’m probably still in shock. Give it a few hours and leave me on my own for a while and it will hit me. And then I’ll start to properly freak out. For now, I’m just kinda going with the flow.’

Going with the flow, of course. Admittedly, Mycroft thought it as good a tactic as any when faced with a situation as this. Mycroft himself would need some time to properly process this development as well.

In the meantime, though, it would be best for him to get dressed, his body had caught on to the fact that he was naked next to an attractive man, a man his wolf had proclaimed Mate nonetheless, and he didn't want to make this situation even more awkward than it already was.

Chapter Text

Mycroft quickly swam through the gap and hid behind one of the rocks, pulling his green tail as close to him as possible. If he was lucky, he’d lost him.

‘Mycroft!’

No such luck.

His little brother Sherlock suddenly appeared in front of him, a huge grin on his face.

‘I found you! Where are you going?’

Mycroft loved his brother, make no mistake, but eleven year olds were so extremely tiring, and he’d just wanted to take a little break to go and watch the humans, it was his favourite pastime, and maybe the handsome man he’d seen before would be there again. Mycroft was sure the man had to be someone important, because everyone seemed to follow his orders, but he’d never gotten close enough to figure out who he was.

‘You’re always disappearing, don’t you want to play with me?’

Damn Sherlock and his puppy dog eyes.

‘Fine, you can come with me, but only if you promise not to tell Mummy.’

His brother’s blue tail was practically vibrating of excitement, he loved the idea of having their own ‘secret thing’.

‘I promise, Mycroft!’

He looked around gravely, to add an extra layer of importance and Sherlock leaned closer in anticipation.

‘We’re going to watch the humans.’

Sherlock’s shocked gasp and widening of the eyes were worth the losing of a secret.

‘But Mummy said we couldn’t…’

Mycroft wasn’t worried. He knew Sherlock’s curiosity would work in his favour.

‘But they’re so interesting, Sherlock! They are so different from us, it’s fascinating!’

That was all it took.

The two brothers soon breached the sea surface and observed the ship – and there was that handsome man again – from a safe distance.

‘Can we go a little closer, Mycroft?’

Mycroft had forced himself to stay away the previous times, but it was Sherlock who proposed it, so really, he couldn’t say no, right?

‘Just a little bit, Sherlock, we need to be careful.’

In the end, they came quite a bit closer, close enough for Mycroft to hear the sailors refer to the man as ‘Prince Greg’, clearly, Mycroft had a good taste.  

But the ship suddenly caught fire and men were starting to jump in the sea. He quickly turned to his brother.

‘Go, Sherlock! We’re too close, I’ll be right behind you.’

Sherlock speeded away, and Mycroft was just about to follow him, when he saw Greg fall overboard, fall, not jump, and he didn’t see him come up again. None of the other sailors were close by and they hadn’t even seen him fall.

Mycroft dove down and started looking for him. He immediately spotted the unconscious man and wrapped his arms around him to bring him up to the surface. He swam them to the nearest part of the beach he could find.

Mycroft knew he should leave now, Sherlock would be incredibly worried about him, but he didn’t dare leave Greg alone. So, he stayed. He pulled Greg’s head on his lap and started running his hands through the soft, brown hair. Softly, Mycroft began to sing a song Mummy used to sing for him, when he was little.

At the same time that he heard voices calling from behind him, he felt Greg start to move. He could leave now; the prince would be safe.

Mycroft had already disappeared between the waves when Greg opened his eyes, making him wonder if he’d dreamed the hand in his hair and the singing voice.

When Mycroft finally got back to the castle he was met by a fearful Sherlock hiding behind Mummy, who looked absolutely furious.

Shit.

‘What were you thinking, Mycroft?! Going to see the humans! And if that wasn’t bad enough, you took Sherlock with you! You’re supposed to be the responsible one, Mycroft!’

She took a deep breath to try and calm down and released her death grip on her trident.

‘You will never go back there; do you understand me? Never.’

And although Mycroft knew he should just nod and make his escape, he couldn’t help but protest.

‘But Mummy! I saved his life! I want to see him again!’

The furious look was back on her face.

‘You saved him? Don’t tell me you interacted with a human?’

Oh, fuck.

Mycroft’s guilty look told her all she needed to know.

‘That’s it. Go to your room! I can’t see you until I’ve calmed down. But you will never see him again, is that understood? Get him out of your head.’

Embarrassed and angry, he swam out of the room. Never see him again? As if, he’d show them, oh he’d show them good.

That night, Mycroft snuck out again. Now that he’d met Greg in person, now that he’d been able to touch him, looking from a distance just wouldn’t do anymore. No, he needed to become human himself. And for that, he’d need help.

There was one man in the whole kingdom who’d be able to help Mycroft become human. He’d have to visit Moriarty – another thing his mother had told him never to do, but needs must.

Mycroft had barely started his journey when Sherlock caught up with him.

‘Sherlock! What are you doing here? You should be in bed.’

His brother shot him a guilty look.

‘I wanted to say sorry for telling Mummy when I saw you swimming away.’

Mycroft sighed, he didn’t have time for this, Mummy would kill him if she thought he had taken Sherlock to go see Moriarty.

‘It’s alright Sherlock, you were worried. But you really need to go back now, there’s something I need to do, but I can’t take you with me.’

Sherlock puffed up his chest.

‘You’re going to see Moriarty, aren’t you? I’m coming with you, to keep you safe.’

He cursed his brother’s intelligence. While normally he was proud when Sherlock made a correct deduction, this really wasn’t the time.

‘No Sherlock, you can’t, you know you can’t.

Sherlock looked as if to start an entire monologue about how he could keep his big brother safe, so Mycroft quickly cut him off.

‘I’m sure you can protect me from Moriarty, but I need you to protect me from Mummy.’

This seemed to puzzle him, so Mycroft quickly continued.

‘It’s almost inevitable that she’ll find out I’ve gone, so I need you to make sure she’s not too angry – personally Mycroft doubted Sherlock would be able to do anything to temper her rage, but he didn’t need to know that. You can’t do that when she’s angry at you too.’

Mollified by this new task, Sherlock turned around and left Mycroft to continue alone.

A few hours later he arrived at the cage where Moriarty resided. It was not a cheery place.

Inside, he found Moriarty lounging around, with one tentacle stirring an ominous looking cauldron, and with two others pouring various fluids in it. In front of him he held an ocean sunfish, lazily petting it with another tentacle.

‘Ah, Mycroft, I’ve been expecting you.’

Mycroft idly thought it was a good thing Sherlock wasn’t here, because he’d have exploded at the sight of the fish, apparently, they were ‘the most gigantic waste of space ever’. He quickly focused on Moriarty though, when the latter let out an annoyed sigh and decided to drop the theatrics.

‘What do you want?’

Straight down to business. Good, Mycroft could deal with that.

‘I want to become human.’

This got him a raised eyebrow and a cocky smirk.

‘Desperate to be united with your dear, sweet Prince Greg?’

How the hell?

 ‘Oh, don’t be surprised, I have eyes anywhere. Now, it can be done, obviously. But, there are certain, shall we say, conditions.

Of course, there are.

Moriarty didn’t wait for Mycroft to acknowledge this and just kept talking.

‘My spell will only work for three days. If the Prince kisses you during those three days. And I do mean a real kiss, no cheek business, and he has to initiate it himself, you can’t just plant one on him. If he kisses you, you will become a human permanently. If he doesn’t kiss you, well, then I own you.’

This gave Mycroft some pause. He wasn’t particularly keen on becoming Moriarty’s slave. But the memory of Greg in his arms drove those doubts away, he was confident he’d be able to persuade a kiss out of him.

‘That sounds… acceptable.’

The grin Moriarty shot him made clear he knew it was anything but.

‘What do you require in return?’

‘Smart boy. I want your voice.’

Mycroft blinked in confusion.

‘My voice?’

‘Yes, dear, your voice, the sound that comes from your throat, that thing.’

‘But, why?’

Moriarty got a dangerous look in his eyes.

‘That doesn’t really concern you, now, does it?’

Mycroft thought it did actually, it was his voice after all, but wisely decided not to comment on that.’

‘Do we have a deal?’

He took a deep breath and nodded, he wanted this.

‘Yes.’

And he signed the contract the other handed him.

‘Great. I hope you’re good at holding your breath.’

The contract disappeared and Moriarty clicked his fingers. At once his tail disappeared and gave way to a pair of legs. Then, Mycroft found he could no longer breathe, he needed air!

Desperately he started swimming to the surface, but he didn’t know how to properly use his new legs so he could hardly move. Suddenly he felt small hands grasp his and they started pulling him up.

Sherlock.

When they finally breached the sea surface, Mycroft had started seeing black spots and was very close to passing out. He breathed in the fresh air desperately.

‘Mycroft?’

God, Sherlock sounded so scared.

‘Mycroft, what did you do?’

He weakly turned his head to look at his brother. Mycroft so wished to reassure his brother but he couldn’t speak.

Eventually he managed to convince his brother to bring him to shore, Sherlock of course realised Mycroft couldn’t exactly live in their home anymore, but he was still reluctant to leave him.

When he finally did, probably to go and tell Mummy, Mycroft was left lying on the beach, utterly exhausted.

And who would just happen to pass but the Prince?

Greg was shocked at seeing a strange, naked man lying on the beach, who, while he looked like he’d washed ashore together with the driftwood, was still one of the most handsome men he’d seen. He cleared his throat.

‘Are you alright?’

Mycroft could only watch and uselessly gesture to his throat.

‘Oh, you can’t talk?’

He shook his head.

‘That’s alright. Do you feel pain anywhere?’

Mycroft took a second to evaluate his body, he was still exhausted, but he didn’t think he was hurt.

He shook his head again.

‘Right, let’s get you up.’

He looked down at Mycroft and flushed.

‘And let’s get you some clothes, shall we?’

Mycroft looked down at his body and then at Greg. Clothes. Right.

Greg pulled him up and started walking but quickly let Mycroft lean on him when he realised the ginger man could hardly walk.

Chapter Text

Greg pulled him up and started walking but quickly let Mycroft lean on him when he realised the ginger man could hardly walk.  

The Prince had to carry Mycroft the last part, which made Greg blush some more, but Mycroft thought it quite comfortable. It also helped his ‘Seduce Prince Greg In Three Days Because Otherwise I Become a Slave’ plan, admittedly, the title needed some work.

Mycroft was making his way to the dining hall, it was already the second day of the deal and he thought he was making great progress concerning The Plan. He was sure Greg had almost kissed him that afternoon, but they had been disturbed by a castle servant before anything could happen.

Right before he was going to push open the door, he heard singing.

That alone wasn’t all that remarkable, but the singing was in his voice.  

In a panic, he went inside and froze, there was Greg, staring with longing, not at him, but at Moriarty. Moriarty appeared fully human and, Mycroft was loath to admit, incredibly attractive. He was wearing some kind of shell necklace, which clashed a bit with his outfit, so he wondered why Moriarty would wear it.

With the stolen voice, he was singing the exact same song Mycroft had sung to the Prince, who was falling for it hook, line and sinker.

Greg caught sight of Mycroft and it seemed that all their almost-moments had never happened.

‘Mycroft! Mycroft, I want you to meet Jim, he’s the one who saved me. We’re getting married tomorrow.’

Tomorrow? Mycroft may not be human, but he was fairly certain normal marriages didn’t happen that quickly. That had to be Moriarty’s influence.

‘Jim, this is Mycroft, he washed ashore two days ago. Don’t worry, he can’t talk.’

That last bit was whispered, but Mycroft had still heard it. And even though he knew he should be above it, and that Greg was obviously being influenced by Moriarty, it hurt to be spoken of with such disregard.

He nodded in Moriarty’s direction and then quickly fled the room. He needed a new plan. He needed help. He needed… his mother. And didn’t that sting.

Mycroft made his way to the beach and waded in until the water came to his hips, and then he waited. He stood there for hours, watching the water come and go, at one point it even came up to his chin, but still he didn’t move.

Eventually his mother appeared in front of him. Mycroft thought she’d never looked more the Queen than now, trident in hand, surrounded by white, shining foam, with a cold look in her eyes.

The cold look was what did it.

Mycroft felt his heart break, he knew then not to expect any help from her. So, he bowed stiffly and backed away, he was on his own.

Dejected he made his way back to the castle, when suddenly, something hit him in the back of his head. Someone had thrown a cone shell at him. He didn’t see anyone around so he was going to ignore it, when another one hit him in the chest; it had come from the sea. And then he saw him.

Sherlock.

His little brother was madly waving his arms around, trying to attract his attention. He made his way back into the water, Sherlock had obviously waited until their mother had disappeared.

‘I’ve come to help you, Mycroft! I’ve figured out what happened.’

By that he probably meant that he’d eavesdropped on Mummy.

‘Moriarty put your voice in a shell.’

And apparently, he’d also been spying on Moriarty, what was the little brat thinking?!

Sherlock spotted Mycroft’s angry look and hastened to defend himself.

‘Mummy doesn’t want to help you because she’s angry, but she doesn’t understand what’ll happen to you if the Prince doesn’t kiss you. She didn’t want to listen to me, and someone had to help you, so here I am. I have a plan.’

Mycroft sighed and resigned himself to Sherlock’s interference. It was true that he needed help and he was touched by Sherlock’s caring, even if he’d never admit it.

The following day was incredibly hectic. Everyone was rushing around trying to get things in order for the Royal Wedding. There were a lot of whispers about the future Prince Consort, people were wondering why the wedding had to happen so quickly, but no one dared speak those whispers out loud.

The wedding was to take place on the beach, and Mycroft was one of the lucky guests allowed to be there at the ceremony, the feast itself would be open for all.

He could barely contain his nerves, if this didn’t work… he daren’t think of the consequences.

Luckily, everything worked out as planned. Sherlock had been able to convince a seagull – the boy could be so charming if he wished to be – to dive down in the middle of the ceremony, steal the shell necklace and toss it to Mycroft.

The second Moriarty lost the necklace, his disguise faltered and everyone could his true self, tentacles and all. Everyone jumped back in surprise, and Greg stared in disbelief and confusion; it seemed Moriarty’s hold over him had gone too.

Mycroft crushed the necklace and felt his voice come back to him.

‘Greg!’

Desperately he called out to him, the sun was almost setting, they were almost out of time!

‘Greg! It’s me, I’m the one who saved you! I sold Moriarty my voice so I could see you again, but you have to kiss me or I become his slave for ever!’

In retrospect, Mycroft should have known just blurting it out like that wasn’t the best choice, but what else should he have done? The sun was setting.

Moriarty was taken advantage of the general confusion to start edging towards Mycroft. He too, knew time was almost up and wanted to be prepared for his dramatic kidnapping of the merman-turned-human.

Moriarty might have gotten away with that as well, if it weren’t for Sherlock. He swept in like an avenging angel – although it was more of a flopping around like a literal fish out of the water – and tackled Moriarty, thus attracting attention to his movements.

‘For God’s sake, Greg, just kiss him! You can talk later, but you have to kiss him now or he’ll be gone forever!’

This shook Greg out of his stupor and he made his way towards Mycroft to give him a hesitant kiss.

Seeing that, Moriarty slumped and honest to god pouted.

‘Ugh fine. Go ahead then, you’re human for ever, have fun.’

Then he turned his eyes on Sherlock.

‘You. I will be watching you, little Sherlock, you might be more interesting than I thought.’

With that ominous last line, which send chills down Mycroft’s spine, he dove back into the water. Leaving the others in a very awkward silence that was eventually broken by Sherlock.

‘Right. Well. This was, interesting? Mycroft, I have to go now, Mummy will be furious.’

He shuddered, and then carefully looked at his brother.

‘Will you be alright?’

Mycroft shot a quick look at the Prince who was now staring at Sherlock’s tail with wide eyes and swallowed loudly.

‘I, I’ll be fine.’

Sherlock didn’t seem convinced but didn’t say anything and dove into the water as well.

Mycroft kept staring at the water and didn’t dare to turn around. He heard footsteps come closer.

‘So, I guess we should talk, right?’

He laughed hollowly.

‘Yes, we should.’

Eventually they got to the happily ever after part.

Chapter Text

‘Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-oo! A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be.’

Greg was happily singing to himself as he walked down the street with his brooms over his shoulder. A chimney sweeper might not have been his first choice of career, but he couldn’t deny that it made him very happy.

He stopped in front of the last house on the street. It wasn’t one of the biggest ones, but you could still tell someone rich lived there.

Mister Holmes, that is to say Mister Holmes’ maid, had asked for him to come by this evening, she’d asked especially for him, said Mister Holmes had been very pleased with him last time. Which was good, because Greg was scared he’d offended the man last time, it was the first time Mister Holmes himself had been in the house when Greg started working, and he might have stared a bit when he saw him. Alright, Greg had stared more than a bit, he hadn’t expected to come across such a handsome man.

He'd been deadly scared the man had noticed his appreciation, but apparently, he hadn’t. So, he was looking forward to this visit, and, if he was lucky, Mister Holmes might be there again.

The maid opened the door and let him in.

‘You can go right up, sir.’

Greg had been here enough that they trusted him to work on his own.

He started working on the chimney in the Master’s chambers and was still quietly singing to himself.

‘Good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands with you. Or blow me a kiss, and that's lucky too.’

Suddenly, he heard a soft voice behind him.

‘I am quite intrigued in the rubbing off part, shall we try it out?’

Startled, Greg turned around and his jaw dropped.

There stood Mister Holmes, completely naked and a with burning look in his eyes.

When Greg kept quiet, the other man raised his eyebrow, sighed and sat down on the bed. His legs crossed and his fingernails ticking on the wooden frame, as if he was completely dressed and in a boring meeting instead of completely naked and having just propositioned a male chimney sweep.

‘Do keep up, Gregory. Your reaction last week showed you were obviously attracted to me, I find you to be remarkably handsome, so, let us not waste time on pointless discussions.'

Greg wasn’t completely sure he wasn’t dreaming, but even if he was, he would not let this opportunity pass him by.

Chapter Text

Mycroft didn’t quite understand how he’d come to find himself in this situation.

One moment he was guiding some foreign dignitaries around London – he needed a favour of them, or he would never have lowered himself to playing guide – and the next thing he knew they had dragged him into a magic show.

A fucking magic show.

Mycroft supposed he could understand how the slow masses were appreciative of the various slights of hand and the optical illusions, but to him, it was all so obvious.

So, there he sat, bored out of his mind, scoffing at all the mindless goldfish who were gasping at the subpar tricks of The Great Splendini, ridiculous name, although, it had to be said, that the man was very attractive. Grey hair that looked almost silver in the spot lights, a nice black tuxedo that accentuated his trim figure, yes, very attractive.

He sat up suddenly.

It was probably because he hadn’t been paying any attention whatsoever, but he couldn’t figure out how the trick had been done.

Mycroft observed the next act like a hawk, but once again, he just couldn’t see how it had happened.

He noticed The Great Splendini smirking at him, it seemed he had noticed Mycroft’s utter boredom and subsequent confusion.

Mycroft could occasionally be a graceful loser, so instead of turning his nose up or starting a scene – like Sherlock undoubtedly would have done – he just inclined his head as if to say, ‘very well done, sir’ and settled in to further enjoy the show.

At least, that’s what he would have done, if it weren’t for the next words that came out of the magician’s mouth.

‘For my next trick, I will be needing a volunteer from the audience. You there, Sir, with the lovely suit on the 10th row.’

The 10th row?

Fuck, he means me.

Mycroft was just about to gracefully decline when one of the dignitaries – whom he’d almost forgotten about – nearly pushed him out of his chair in her enthusiasm.

‘Go on then, Mr. Holmes, aren’t you lucky?’

Yes, lucky.

Reluctantly he made his way to the stage, where The Great Splendini – Mycroft did wonder why on earth a seemingly fairly intelligent man would chose such an idiotic and nonsensical name – was waiting for him, with a smile that encompassed his whole face.

‘And who am I welcoming to my stage tonight?’

I am in hell.

‘My name is Mycroft Holmes.’

‘Welcome. Tell me, Mycroft, do you believe in hypnosis?’

He couldn’t contain a snort.

‘No, I do not.’

This got a cheeky grin out of the other man.

‘Good. Then this is going to be even more fun.’

The magician shot a conspiratorial look to the audience.

‘Let’s begin shall we.’

The next thing Mycroft knew, he was standing on top of a chair, vest off, waistcoat off and shirt fully unbuttoned. He froze in confusion.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, I believe Mr. Holmes has come back to us.’

The man offered him a hand to help him of the chair, which Mycroft automatically took while stopping himself from reflexively closing his shirt with his other hand.

Just act normal.

Only once he got down did he – calmly – start to button up his shirt again.

‘Thank you for your help, Mr. Holmes, you may go back to your seat.’

He ignored the applause and the catcalling, took his other clothes from one of the assistants and got back to his seat.

After the show was over and he had gotten rid of the dignitaries – who wouldn’t stop giggling and shooting him looks, but refused to tell him what had actually happened – Mycroft finally arrived home, where, while undressing, he found a note in his back pocket.

The note had a cell phone number and ‘Call me, Greg’ written on it.

He eyed it disdainfully but couldn’t quite bring himself to throw it away.

Chapter Text

‘I mean, why would anyone even have an actor as a second identity, doesn’t that just invite trouble? What if people want proof and they can’t find you anywhere?’

Sherlock’s eyebrows told him that he was being an idiot.

‘Obviously, John, you act in a few low-level series under your fake name. Second identity established, easy.’

John snorted, as if anyone would actually do that.

‘In fact, one of Mycroft’s identities was established that way.’

His brain stuttered to a halt.

‘What? Mycroft has an actor alter ego? Mycroft has acted? In what?!’

John had to see this.

Sherlock huffed and turned his nose – as usual when the conversation turned to his brother.

'Look up ‘Mark Gatiss’, he’s only in a few things.'

John practically flew to his computer. Sherlock was right, apparently this ‘Mark Gatiss’ had only been in a few things: ‘The League of Gentlemen’, some kind of comedy horror thing, ‘Clone’, which had Jonathan Pryce in it – John was quite a fan of him – ‘Funland’, a mystery mini-series and lastly, he was also in an episode of Midsummer Murders.

He had decided to start with the Midsummer Murder one and was immediately amused with Mycroft dressed as a Reverend, a Reverend who was so obviously gay. Obviously. Although he had to admit that he had not seen the ending coming – he was glad he wasn’t watching with Sherlock because he would have shouted it out immediately.

John had nothing better to do that day, so he decided to start watching Funland – Midsummer Murders had put him in the mood for yet another mystery.

It was an experience, to say the least.

He was still staring in shock at his laptop – which had by now, already gone to sleep mode – when he heard two pair of footsteps on the stairs.

‘You don’t have to follow me up, Mycroft, I am perfectly capable of entering my own rooms, alone.’

Oh shit.

‘Nonsense, brother, besides, I merely wish to convey my regards to Dr. Watson.’

The door opened to reveal two brothers and all John could do was to desperately think ‘don’t think of Mycroft naked, don’t think of Mycroft naked’, which meant, of course, that he did think of Mycroft naked, and that both the object of his thoughts and Sherlock knew.

‘John!’

Yes, that was definitely disgust in his flatmate’s voice.

‘My dear Dr. Watson, I see you have discovered my short-lived acting career. Tell me honestly – I can take constructive criticism – what did you think of my performance?’

John blushed but bravely raised his head.

‘Well, Mycroft, I haven’t had the time to look at all your work, obviously, but so far, it seems satisfactory.’

Mycroft pulled off a perfectly executed fake offended look while Sherlock looked like a little kid who’d just been told his parents were having sex.

‘Very well, Dr. Watson, I see I will have to do my best to impress you with my next role. I shall leave now to start studying my lines. Goodbye brother, doctor.’

Mycroft exited – not pursued by a bear – leaving a slightly less embarrassed John and a gobsmacked Sherlock.

Leaving his flatmate to his quiet suffering, John gathered up his laptop and retreated to his room.

‘Night, Sherlock.’

Chapter Text

Mycroft was walking down the street in his second favourite grey pinstripe suit when he saw a horde of people running his way. One of them grabbed him by the shoulders.

‘It’s the end! The end!’

The man let him go and sprinted away, as if the devil himself was chasing him.

Mycroft knew what to do. He ripped his shirt open, but underneath it he was another suit, his third favourite brown one, he ripped that one open as well, but instead of seeing the hot pink latex, he saw his own naked chest. Where was his costume?

Suddenly Sherlock appeared in front of him, in his hands a familiar shade of pink. There it was!

‘Here you go, Mycroft, can’t be running around naked.’

He was naked. When did that happen?

No matter, Sherlock had brought him his suit.

‘Thank you, brother.’

However, when Mycroft put it on, he noticed he only had the bottom part. He shot Sherlock a questioning look.

‘I can’t be to helpful, now, can I?’

And he disappeared.

Sherlock had a point.

Mycroft took a running start and jumped up in the air, flying was much easier.

He flew over the panicking masses until he finally arrived at the centre of the disturbance. There was a space ship shooting purple laser beams at everything, what it hit, it changed into cats. This could only mean one thing: aliens!

Mycroft landed and took one of the cats in his arms to start petting it.

‘Who’s a cute little kit-kat? Who’s a little cutie? That’s right, you are.’

The cat, who had previously been a 43-year-old lawyer, scratched Mycroft’s chest in disgust and walked away.

‘Mr. Mistoffelees! Come back!’

He stared forlornly at the retreating cat. Wiping a tear from his eyes, he turned around to face the space ship, crossed his arms and started tapping his foot.

‘Right then, enough with this nonsense.’

The space ship had started pouting when suddenly there came a loud noise.

A blue police box appeared next to the spaceship, and out came The Doctor – played by David Tennant, obviously – who looked at Mycroft and the spaceship in turn.

‘Well, obviously you’ve got this all under control, but do you mind if I lend a hand? The sooner we get it done, the sooner we can go on our date.’

Of course! Mycroft was supposed to go on a date tonight! That’s why he was wearing his tuxedo, wait, where did his latex pants go?

No matter, the tuxedo looked better on him anyway.

The Doctor and Mycroft quickly sent the space ship to bed without dessert and the city was saved.

After a very romantic dinner they were walking back to the Tardis when once again, Mycroft saw people running in a panic.

He ripped open his shirt. Where was his suit?!

‘Sherlock!’

 

Mycroft woke up to the beeping of his alarm and prepared himself for another busy day. As always, he didn’t remember what he had dreamt about, not that he wanted to, he couldn’t imagine it would be all that interesting.

Chapter Text

Anthea had once again tricked him into participating in some stupid charity thing. He had to do something called the ‘polar bear jump’.

Which meant that first he would undergo some kind of sped up sauna session, and then he had to jump in an unheated, outdoor pool. Did he mention it was winter? People couldn’t possibly thing this was a good idea? Mycroft wasn’t even sure he wouldn’t get a heart attack from the shock to his system, but according to his PA – and the idiots organising it – it was perfectly healthy.

So, there he was, in his swim shorts, surrounded by some of his colleagues – who he did not want to see in swimwear, nor they him, thank you very much – feeling like he was dying.

For starters, it was way too damn hot. Although he could have taken the heat itself if it wasn’t for those damned blasts of hot air that wrapped around his head like heavy blankets.

Every time the bastard at the front towelled one of those waves his way, his ability to breath temporarily decreased by 90 percent. And they just kept coming.

This couldn’t be the normal procedure of a sauna, it was simply impossible, no one would voluntarily do this to themselves, right?

Mycroft was the first one out the door when the timer went off. But that also meant he was the first at the pool.

God damn it.

Around him, bystanders were watching – they were wrapped up warmly, the lucky bastards.

‘Go Mycroft!’

He snapped his head around. Oh, for fuck’s sake. As if this whole thing wasn’t bad enough, there were his little brother and his friend. Because that’s all he needed today.

Anthea was shooting him a warning look and the others had formed a line behind him. It was time to get in.

Carefully he descended the stairs. Jesus fucking Christ. It was so fucking cold!

He was short of breath by the time the water got to his waist.

It was alright, he could do this. He wouldn’t back out.

Mycroft steeled himself and then went under.

FUCK!

He came back up gasping for breath, around him the other poor victims were doing the same.

Stiffly he made his way back to the edge of the pool, he’d kept his end of the bargain, now he was getting the fuck out of there.

John was waiting on him with a fluffy towel and a shit-eating grin on his face.

‘Alright there, Mycroft?’

‘Fine, thank you, doctor.’

Mycroft’s attempt at a dignified response was somewhat ruined by his chattering teeth and all-over look of a drowned cat, still, he gave it the best he could.

Chapter Text

Mycroft came to with his arms chained to a flesh hook and his feet barely touching the ground. Judging from the pain in his shoulders, he’d already been hanging there for a few hours. His eyesight was blurry and the inside of his mouth tasted metallic, which fit with his last memory being of something hitting him in the head.

Mycroft Holmes had been kidnapped.

A minor setback. This would rather mess up his schedule for the day, and possibly the week if his shoulders weren’t quickly unburdened.

He had just decided he’d need to fire his entire security team – they had let him be taken and on top of that, they hadn’t rescued him yet – when he heard footsteps approaching him from behind.

He knew those footsteps.

Ah, that explained their incompetence, his kidnapper was none other than the head of his security team. The motif was money, no doubt.

When the man entered his field of view, Mycroft gave him his patented ‘Your incompetence isn’t even a surprise anymore’ look #4.

‘How kind of you to join me, George. Though it must be said that you haven’t quite followed all the rules of hospitality, I haven’t even been offered a drink.’

He could see the other man was slightly shaken by his air of nonchalance, but he didn’t speak.

Mycroft narrowed his eyes slightly.

‘When can I speak with my host?’

George shot an almost imperceivable look to his right, Mycroft followed his look and noticed a camera – he also realised how bad his head wound was, he hadn’t seen the camera before. Realisation sunk in.

‘Ah, I see.’

And he did see. He saw this would not be pleasant for him, at all. There would be no interaction, no chance for Mycroft to use his words as weapons. George had no doubt been given a specific set of instructions to follow, and his real captor would just watch. This wasn’t about gaining information, this was about torture, pure and simple.

Mycroft had already been devested of his vest and waistcoat prior to his awakening, and now George had started to cut away his shirt, very evidently not caring whether he nicked his prisoner in the process, after all, why should he?

The script appeared to be a traditional one, after throwing a few punches – the last ones with brass knuckles – George switched to the knife.

Mycroft had until now succeeded on staying completely silent, but after a particularly deep cut he let out a small pained grunt. George gave no sign of having heard him and just continued on to the next one.

His chest was covered in bleeding red lines, he couldn’t immediately discern a pattern, but he knew there had to be one, the man had been following a plan, there was nothing random about it.

Eventually George stabbed him once in the side and walked away.

Mycroft stilled in confusion – and also in pain.

While the stab wound would kill him eventually, his team would have found him long before that – he was sure it wouldn’t be long now – so, this couldn’t be the end. Unless his team was meant to find him, but no that didn’t make sense, the set-up and the planning behind this was too elaborate for them to stop so soon.

He was right.

George came back, dragging something behind him.

Oh, joy.

They had arrived at the electrocution part of the evening. Although, before bringing out the big guns, they started him off with a taser. But not a regular one, a taser used on big animals, a taser that would make you drop out of pain, not because of the temporary disruption of muscle control.

By the second hit, Mycroft had completely given up on staying silent.

By the fourth, he could do nothing but hang there, he couldn’t even scream.

By the sixth, he heard doors slam open and voices shouting.

There wasn’t a seventh.

Chapter Text

Sherlock and John had been manhandled into a black car whilst they’d been following a lead for Lestrade.

John’s annoyance had slowly given way for a feeling of defeated acceptance, but Sherlock was still pouting petulantly.

When they arrived at Mycroft’s office building, he didn’t wait for the ‘guards’ and just stormed his way up to his brother’s office. On the way there, he took note of people walking around – never running – in a panic, obviously someone high-placed had gone missing, and Mycroft surely wanted him to help find whoever it was, how utterly boring.

John had been right behind his friend and had noticed the stir as well, but he came to different conclusions. Mycroft hadn’t come to get them himself, hadn’t even called or texted. He wanted to say something to Sherlock, but the latter had just reached the office doors and thrown them open with a bang.

‘Mycroft, I won’t be- ‘

His brother wasn’t there. Why wasn’t he there?

His eyes flitted across the room, taking in every single detail, then focused back on Anthea, who was seated behind his brother’s desk.

‘How long?’

‘One hour.’

John had entered and came to silently stand behind Sherlock.

‘And you only called me now? What do you know?’

It turned out they knew nothing.

They wouldn’t even have known he’d been taken if Anthea hadn’t unexpectedly returned to the office.

An hour later, they were fairly certain it was the head of security who had taken Mycroft, but they had both vanished.

‘What’s the point of having camera’s everywhere if you can’t use it to find people?!’

Sherlock’s voice reverberated of the walls but no-one flinched, they’d grown used to the man’s outbursts.

Finally, at three hours, something happened. Mycroft’s computer screen went black when it restarted, it showed a livestream. A livestream of his brother hanging from his wrists. Mycroft had evidently just come to and was looking around with squinting eyes. Concussion, Sherlock noted absently.

They watched a man, ‘that’s George’, appear on screen and Mycroft’s discovery of the camera.

They all realised at the same time as Mycroft what would happen.

When the first punches fell, Sherlock had to close his eyes and take a deep breath.

He had to focus. It wasn’t Mycroft, it was someone else, someone he didn’t know. No emotional connection!

Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side.

Focus. Not on Myc- the victim, but on the surroundings. Where were they?

Sherlock came out of his mind palace just in time to hear his brother’s shocked gasp when the knife disappeared into his side. He blanked.

No.

Get. Yourself. Together.

‘I know where they are, let’s go.’

The drive there Sherlock spent in a daze. They would be on time. They had to.

Sherlock wasn’t the first through the door, only because John had forcibly held him back, but it was a close second.

Mycroft was still breathing, but he was covered in blood and barely conscious, and when they lowered him down he couldn’t contain the pained cries.

Sherlock stood transfixed, he didn’t dare approach his wounded brother, he didn’t know how to deal with the huge wave of relief that had come over him, after seeing his brother still alive.

Oh, Mycroft.

Chapter Text

This was all well and good, thought Greg, amazing for Sherlock that he was reunited with, what was it, Mike-something, but couldn’t they do this elsewhere? Not that he didn’t simply love holding hands with a half-naked man who was half sitting half laying on the street hugging his consulting detective, but still, there was a time and a place for everything.

At this point, they’d attracted the attention of every policemen on the scene, so Greg thought it best to break it up now.

‘Alright, Sherlock, let’s get you home, yeah? Come on.’

With that he beckoned John over to try and get them home. He tried to let go of the other man, but his motions were stopped by two distressed voices.

‘No!’

‘Don’t!’

He shot them an exasperated look.

‘Don’t let him go, Lestrade. Somehow your touch makes him visible.’

Greg decided that dealing with that unbelievable bit of nonsense Sherlock just threw at him could wait until they arrived at 221B and just sighed and held on.

Chapter Text

'Boring, Mycroft, I have much more interesting things to do.'

John rolled his eyes, Mycroft had been here for 30 minutes already and Sherlock was still claiming a previous engagement. As if every single person in the room didn't know that Sherlock had no case and that his brother would win this round.

He pressed the mug of tomatosoup he had just prepared - that is to say, he ripped open the packet and added hot water - into the consulting detective's hands.

'Drink.'

Sherlock hadn't eaten in two days, so John felt justified in taking matters into his own hands, he could always claim concern from a pure medical view.

His flatmate sighed deeply but didn't complain, ever since he had collapsed that one time he let John have a say in his eating habits.

But his compliance with John's wishes only went so far; at the sight of his smugly grinning brother - he could practically hear the mocking 'a happy announcement after all, brother dear?' - he got up and started walking around, waving his hands around and raising his voice in fake - well, not that fake - annoyment, slowly making his way to Mycroft.

He stopped right in front of his brother and glared at him.

'I won't do it, Mycroft.'
Mycroft was just about to reply with a smig assurance that Sherlock would take the case and here's why, brother dear, when the latter dropped his cup of soup. Which was still half full, and really hot.

'God damn it!'

Mycroft jumped up and grimaced in pain. Red soup covered his chest and lap and it stung like hell.

'Shit, Mycroft! Sherlock, what the hell?'

On second thought, maybe he should have waited until the soup had cooled a little.

'Are you burned, Mycroft?'

John came closer and started to unbutton his shirt, Mycroft, still shocked by the pain and stunned because of the blonde's forwardness, let him.

When John had done a cursory inspection and had seen no burns - although the normally pale skin looked bright red - his mind caught up with his actions.

He took a careful step back and saw Mycroft’s quizzical cock of the head.

'I, uh.'

He shook himself, he was a doctor, damn it.

'There seem to be no burns, you can go clean up in the bathroom and I'll come bring you some of Sherlock's clothes.'

John should his flatmate a 'we will talk about this later' look that quelled his furious protest.

'If you need any medical attention, just call me.'

When Mycroft gingerly walked up the stairs, John turned to Sherlock with a face like thunder.

'What the hell were you thinking?!'

Chapter Text

John walked into the bathroom completely focused on his phone. He absent-mindedly looked up when he reached the sink and jumped in surprise.

‘Mycroft?!’

His flatmate’s older brother was sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Naked and dripping wet.

John quickly averted his eyes and made to leave the room.

‘Uh, sorry about that, didn’t know you we- ‘

He’d spotted a small bundle of bloody clothes lying on the bathroom tiles. He stopped. Mycroft hadn’t reacted to his entrance nor to his words, he’d just sat there, silently, head down, and according to the small puddle of water between his feet, he’d sat there directly after showering and hadn’t moved since.

‘Do you need help?’

‘That, ah, might not be such a bad idea, Dr. Watson.’

Mycroft’s voice sounded even more stilted than normal and it set John on edge. He had to forcibly remind himself that this was not a battlefield, and that his adrenal glands had no business working overtime right now.

John got to work. Time to be a doctor to yet another Holmes brother.

Chapter Text

Sherlock had broken in to his brother’s apartment again – he was testing how long it would take for Mycroft to text him to get out – and was snooping around, when he heard the shower run.

No burglar could break through security, and even if they could, they wouldn’t be taking a shower, so it had to be Mycroft. How odd. Sherlock hadn’t expected him to be home.

Oh, well, this was even better. He’d broken in while his brother was in the house, and he hadn’t noticed. He planned to hold this over Mycroft’s head for a long time. Gloating rights started now.

He snuck up the stairs and came to a halt in front of the bathroom door. The water was still running.

Sherlock threw the door open with a bang and swept inside like an avenging angel raining down justice on all the sinners – if you can’t add drama to life, is it even worth living?

‘Hello, brother!’

The consulting detective then saw something he knew he’d treasure forever. Mycroft’s shocked face.

‘Sherlock? What the hell?’

He grinned at his brother’s discomfort.

‘Oh, nothing much, just thought I’d drop by. I’ll be going now, though, bye!’

He ignored Mycroft’s affronted sputtering and walked away. The moment he’d turned his head he let an enormous grin take over his face.

No matter what his brother would plan as retribution, it was so worth it.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was a firm believer of the saying ‘go big or go home’, so, when it became obvious that he really would have to do something about his weight – during his active duty years it hadn’t really been a problem, but now that he had a desk job, his eating habits were landing him into trouble – he went all out.

He had a private gym installed in his house, with all the works: treadmill, exercise bike, cross trainer, rowing machine, weight benches, he even had a swim spa.

Mycroft usually only used the treadmill and the cross trainer; he hated cycling, he didn’t like doing the sets for the weight benches, and though he liked swimming and found it rather relaxing, it took quite a bit of preparation, so he didn’t do that often.

Today had been a rough day: three times he’d had to sooth some foreign dignitaries’ ruffled feathers, because the original contact had bungled it immensely. Then the PM had demanded a meeting to make her feel important and on top of that, Sherlock had disappeared again, but not before flipping off the camera. Mycroft knew he should only worry if his brother wasn’t back tomorrow – he had a prior history of disappearing for cases – but he couldn’t help but feel uneasy. A nice relaxing swim would do him good.

He changed into his trunks and got in, he needed to physically exhaust himself for his mind to go quiet.

Mycroft had only been swimming for five minutes when he saw something move from the corner of his eye. He stopped and looked around, but saw nothing. His alarm hadn’t sounded, so it must have been his imagination; he continued swimming.

A minute later, Mycroft once again noticed it. This time when he stopped, Sherlock was standing next to the spa. He supressed a sigh.

‘Sherlock, to what do I owe the pleasure?’

‘You look like a whale, Mycroft.’

This time he let the sigh go.

‘One typically does not insult people one needs a favour from.’

He stopped his brother’s protest with a look.

‘You would only be here if you needed something, Sherlock. What is it?’

Mycroft got out of the water and resigned himself to an evening filled with Sherlock and all the relating drama – and if both bothers were secretly glad to spend this time together, no one needed to know.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was happy. He had been offered a job for MI5 right out of university, he had an apartment of his own – it was a small, dingy one bedroom apartment in a bad neighbourhood, but it was his – and he was in a committed relationship. He and Jim fit together perfectly – there were some niggling thoughts that there was something off about Jim, but he firmly pushed those away.

Mycroft let himself fall on his stomach and sighed contentedly, their sexual chemistry was also fantastic. Jim had opened his eyes to a whole new level of enjoyment.

They also shared a passion for the universe, it was Mycroft’s solar system tattoo that sparked their first conversation, and Jim always liked to play connect the dot with his freckles to trace constellations.

Mycroft was enjoying the feeling of Jim’s tongue on his back and was preparing himself for round 2, when the door to his apartment burst open. It was Sherlock.

His little brother stood transfixed in the door opening and Mycroft had frozen as well, but Jim just continued on.

‘And this one is Orion.’

Mycroft pushed Jim of him and grabbed a blanket to cover him.

‘Stop it, Jim. Sherlock, what, what are you going here?’

He could see his brother was high again, and although Mycroft hated his drug addiction, he was loath to turn Sherlock away.

Sherlock shook his head and backed away.

‘No. No. No.’

By the time Mycroft had put on clothes and followed him outside, his brother had disappeared into the night.

When they saw each other again next week – it was Mummy’s birthday – and Mycroft discreetly questioned his sober-for-once brother, he discovered Sherlock had deleted the whole thing. He had no memory of anyone called Jim, nor did he seem to remember anything related to space – really, his brother could overreact sometimes.

Jim and Mycroft’s relationship ended a month after that; Jim had suddenly become colder and curter and Mycroft had gotten more and more hints from the office to sever as much emotional entanglements as possible.

Years later, when Jim suddenly resurfaced as Moriarty, Mycroft finally understood that sense of unease he’d ignored all that time ago and he had never been more thankful for Sherlock’s habit to delete things he thought unnecessary; no one could ever know.

Chapter Text

Sometimes Mycroft really wished he was an only child. If it weren’t for Sherlock he wouldn’t be standing in a public swimming pool, wearing speedos. Because just swimming wasn’t bad enough, no, he had to do it in tight, green speedos. He hated his life.

Sherlock had apparently been begging to go swimming all day, because when Mycroft came home his mother just pushed his sports bag in his arms and told him to go take his little brother swimming.

So, there he was, in the changing cubicle, wishing to stay there until they could go home, with Sherlock standing outside, banging on the door, screaming for him to hurry up.

‘Sherlock. If you make even one comment, I will take you back home right now, I don’t care what Mummy says.’

Sherlock stayed silent so Mycroft didn’t yet open the door.

‘Sherlock.’

Sufficiently cowed by the warning tone of his voice, Sherlock sighed.

‘Fine, I won’t say anything. Now come out already.’

Mycroft took a deep breath and pushed open the door. Sherlock’s eyes widened in shock but he kept his promise and didn’t open his mouth.

‘Let’s go! I want to go on the slide!’

Sherlock could do whatever he wanted, but Mycroft would get in the water as soon as he could, and wouldn’t be getting out until it was time to go home. He just hoped there weren’t too many people in the pool.

Just his luck, although the pool was rather empty, there were a bunch of teenagers around Mycroft’s age – he didn’t know them, thank God – who burst out laughing the moment they saw him.

He flushed bright red immediately, face, shoulders and chest, and even Sherlock shot him a sympathetic look.

Mycroft hurriedly made his way to the other side of the pool – as far away from those little shits as possible – and got in the pool. Sherlock left him for the slides and Mycroft prepared himself for three utterly boring hours of doing nothing.

Those plans were shattered however, when he saw one of the boys swim his way. He prepared himself for more mocking comments.

‘Hey, um, I wanted to apologise for my friends, they’re assholes.’

Mycroft blinked in surprise, this was unexpected, to say the least. The boy extended his hand.

‘I’m Greg.’

Bemusedly he shook it.

‘I’m Mycroft.’

When Sherlock looked over at where he had left Mycroft three hours later, expecting to see his brother in the exact same spot and staring at him impatiently, he was shocked to see him animatedly talking with another boy, and they’d even swum together.

The boy shrugged off his confusion and continued playing, if Mycroft hadn’t noticed the time on his own, the last thing Sherlock wanted to do was bring it to his attention.  

Chapter Text

It was 5 o’clock in the morning and Mycroft trudged back to the dingy apartment he shared with his brother. Their parents had died six months ago after a car accident and Sherlock was still in shock – Mycroft hadn’t allowed himself the time to be affected. Mycroft, being 19 years old and thus legally an adult, had taken custody of Sherlock, but it was hard.

Most of their parents’ money had gone to the hospital bills and the funeral arrangements, so Mycroft had dropped out of his second year of university – with the idea to continue when Sherlock was old enough – and was working two jobs to try and make ends meet. But it still wasn’t enough. Mycroft had been staying up late trying to figure the bills out, but it came down to a very simple truth: they needed more money. But he didn’t have the time for a third job, he barely had any time off as it was.

A few nights ago, while on night shift in The Bread Factory, he’d heard one of his colleagues talking about an art class his wife was taking, they were speculating how much the nude models would get paid per hour, and if they shouldn’t just stop working in the factory and go do that.

With that conversation playing in the back of his mind, Mycroft thought it a divine sign when he found an add from some small evening drawing class, looking for a nude model, two nights a week, Wednesday and Friday, three hours every night, paying `£10 per hour. It was to take place in a private studio – Mycroft googled the name of the woman in charge and it turned out she was a fairly well-known artist herself, who now spent her time teaching, and it would only be for a month. It would mean Sherlock would have to fend for himself – more than he already had to – those nights, but they really did need the money. Mycroft decided to apply, besides, they might not even want him.

They did want him. Apparently, he’d been the first to respond and the woman running the class had been very friendly and enthusiastic at their meeting, so Mycroft decided to go for it.

He said goodbye to Sherlock – who was still no more than a lifeless reflection of his former self – and left for the studio.

Mycroft was at first incredibly nervous to stand naked in front of the five students – two males, three females, all of them over forty – but they were all very respectful and focused on their work, not at all treating him like some kind of lust object, so he soon relaxed and found himself daydreaming the whole lesson, with a position change every 20 minutes, and a small break after the first hour.

During the breaks and after the classes, Mycroft made small talk with the others. There was one man in particular with who he got along rather well: Greg Lestrade, Superintendent at Scotland Yard. Mycroft soon found himself opening up about his situation with Sherlock and their financial troubles. Greg was sympathetic to his plight and Mycroft could see the man wanted to help him, but that he didn’t say anything for fear of offending him, which the younger man greatly appreciated, he didn’t want to be a charity case. Another thing he noticed was that Greg was attracted to him, another impulse he didn’t act on, again for fear of offending him, but this one Mycroft was less appreciative of. He was quite attracted to Greg as well, you see.

When the last class ended, Mycroft resigned himself to never seeing Greg again, but he was pleasantly surprised when the older man came up to him and after steeling himself – anyone else wouldn’t have noticed Greg’s nerves, but Mycroft was still a master of deductions – he asked Mycroft to dinner. Mycroft gladly accepted.

That was how he came to be in a relationship with a man 24 years his senior. This development led to some teasing comments from Sherlock about sugar daddies, and though Mycroft had had some concerns about that as well – he was an adult and didn’t need to be provided for, thank you very much – he was too happy that his brother seemed to be reverting to his former self to be angry.

However, four months into their relationship, his concerns once again reared their heads, this time because of Greg’s comments.

‘Mycroft, I want to say something and I need you to just hear me out okay?’

Those words would make anyone nervous, and he was no different.

‘… okay.’

‘You’re a brilliant young man, and it breaks my heart to see you wasting your potential. You’re breaking your back working underpaid jobs to provide for Sherlock, which is an absolutely wonderful thing of you to do, you are an amazing person for doing that, but you need to think of yourself as well. So, I just, I want to help you. Help you both. Let me please help you, so that you can continue your studies and make something of your life. Please. You’re a magnificent, intelligent young man and you deserve to be taken care of.’

Mycroft hesitantly opened his mouth, but closed it again. He was conflicted. A part of him wanted to jump at the chance to go back to university and to know for sure Sherlock would be alright, but the other part bristled at the thought of accepting charity.

‘I, uh, I don’t… I, I need to talk to Sherlock… I’m going to go home now.’

He kissed Greg goodbye and left quickly. On the way home, he couldn’t get his partner’s sad look out of his mind, he’d looked like he thought it was the last time he would ever see Mycroft.

When he came home, Sherlock immediately noticed his disturbed thoughts.

‘What happened?’

Sherlock feared Greg had broken up with his brother. He’d met the man a few times and deemed him nice enough, but he was mainly grateful to him for improving his brother’s mood. Even during his own down period, he’d noticed how depressed Mycroft had become and how providing for him had seemed to be the only thing keeping his brother going.

‘We need to talk, Sherlock. Greg said some things, and I, I don’t know what to do.’

He related the whole conversation to Sherlock and awaited his judgement. Although his brother was only 12, Mycroft had great confidence in his brother’s intelligence – though he would always be the smart one – and treated him as an equal most of the time.

‘I think you should accept it.’

Well, that certainly wasn’t what he had expected. Sherlock noticed his brother’s surprise and shrugged.

‘It’s obvious he cares for you and you care for him as well, so he’s not doing it out of pity or anything. And I know you hate your jobs and would much prefer to go back to studying.’

Mycroft knew that was all true but he was still hesitant.

‘But I don’t want to become dependent on him. I don’t want to need help, Sherlock. I promised to take care of you and I failed. I’m a horrible brother.’

He’d finally come to the crux of the matter. His mother had made him promise in the hospital that he’d look after his younger brother, and he felt like he failed that promise.

Sherlock looked shocked at this proclamation.

‘Don’t be such an idiot, Mycroft. You could have dumped me with some distant relative and be done with me. You didn’t, because you knew you were the only one who would get me. You didn’t fail, sure your culinary skills could use some improvement, but that’s all.’

Sherlock came closer and gave him a hesitant hug, after a few seconds Mycroft returned it. Both not used to physical contact however, they quickly let go and looked away awkwardly.

‘Thank you, Sherlock.’

He was not wiping away a tear, not at all.

‘It’s nothing.’

Sherlock shrugged again – teenagers!

‘Besides, if you’re scared of being totally dependent, you could always keep one job and save some money just in case.’

Mycroft enjoyed the simplicity of a 12-year-old’s mind, even if Sherlock’s mind was decidedly more complex than his peers’.

They’d still need to talk this over some more, and set some clear agreements, but for now, Mycroft tentatively prepared himself to accept Greg’s help.

Chapter Text

After being confronted once again with a bunch of letters urging him once more to pay his bills soon, John started looking for another job. Working as a General Practitioner or a Physician was obviously not for him at the moment – he still cringed when thinking back to the time he’d fallen asleep his first day working for Sarah – so he decided to look for something else.

He’d done a course for massage therapist after finishing medical school, so when he saw an ad from a private massage clinic, specialising in dealing with sports injuries, recovering from surgeries, strokes, etc., he jumped at the chance.

They seemed very interested and enthusiastic about his previous medical experiences, and after several interviews, they hired him, with a two-week trial period.

On his third day, he got a call asking him to come in immediately. Apparently a highly esteemed, regular patient had been booked in for a post-surgery massage, but his normal massage therapist was unexpectedly unable to make it and John was the only one who was free.

John went over the few details he’d been – the patient’s file was suspiciously empty – and it looked quite a bit as if the man – John Smith, a classic – had been brutally attacked, had needed surgery because of that attack, and had regular massages to help speed up the revalidation.

Whoever John had expected to see when he opened the door the waiting room, it certainly wasn’t Mycroft Holmes.

They both looked at each other in surprise.

Mycroft looked resigned to leave and make an appointment at another time when John decided to keep acting as if nothing was wrong. If Mycroft was indeed this John Smith, he’d be in quite a bit of pain, and the massage could only help with that.

‘Mister Smith?’

Mycroft shot him a brief, grateful look, and then smoothed his face from all emotions.

‘Yes, that’s me.’

‘Please, come in.’

John treated him as any other patient, and Mycroft treated him as any other massage therapist. They talked about the details of Mycroft’s surgery and what he needed from the massage, and then John left the room to let Mycroft undress.

The only hiccough to John’s professional attitude came when he re-entered the room and saw Mycroft’s battered body. The other man acknowledged his shock with a slight grimace that said ‘what can you do?’ and then they both went back to not knowing each other.  

When his day was over and John was on his way home, he debated with himself briefly and then pulled out his phone.

If you need some more help, you know where to find me.
-JW

That was all he’d say; the ball was in Mycroft’s court now. It was perfectly within his right to want to keep this from him and, by extension, from Sherlock. The reply came quick.

Thank you, doctor, I will keep that in mind.
-MH

John wasn’t quite sure what to make of that, but at least he’d gotten an answer. Mycroft could have brushed it off and pretended the whole thing never happened, John would have let him.

Chapter Text

Mycroft methodically readied himself for bed. He stripped down to his underwear and neatly hung up his clothes in the closet, he also laid out the suit he would wear the next day. While crossing his bedroom to move to the bathroom, he caught a glimpse of himself in his mirror.

He stopped and turned to face it fully. Hesitantly Mycroft stepped closer, to see himself entirely, every flaw exposed and open for judgement. He looked himself over with a critical eye and found himself wanting.

His receding hairline.

Playful hands came up to softly tug at his hair.

‘I love that little curl you get. It’s you literally letting your hair down.’

Mycroft huffed and felt the other’s grin in his neck.

‘It’s lovely.’

His boring grey eyes.

‘Not to be sappy or anything, but I could get lost in your eyes.’

Mycroft answered this with a disbelieving stare.

‘I mean it! You have such special eyes; mine are such a boring brown.’

His big, ugly nose.

‘It’s regal, love.’

Gentle kisses were pressed against it.

‘You have the nose of Irish kings.’

His shoulders and back that were absolutely covered in freckles.

‘You’re covered in galaxies.’

A mouth set out to nip and kiss every single freckle while Mycroft sighed in pleasure.

‘And you taste like stardust.’

His chest that was imitating a red rainforest.

Fingers tenderly roved through the hairs.

‘You’re so soft.’

A face gently butted against his chest, making Mycroft snort with laughter.

His fat stomach.

Hands unhurriedly stoked his sides.

‘I could look at you all day.’

Mycroft gasped when a tongue came to familiarise itself with his navel.

His saggy arse.

Strong hands grasped and softly squeezed his bottom.

‘God, you are divine.’

Mycroft moaned into the pillow.

His big thighs.

His thighs were carefully spread.

‘Let me, you just lay back and enjoy.’

Kisses were pressed on both legs and moved steadily closer to the centre.

Mycroft shook himself out of his thoughts and focused on his reflexion once more. A blush covered his face and chest.

He contemplated his body again, this time with soft, kind, whispered words in the back of his head. Maybe, maybe it wasn’t that bad.

Chapter Text

‘Sorry about your shoulder, Greg.’

‘It’s fine, John.’

Even Sherlock could hear that it was not fine, and though he would never admit it, he felt a little guilty. Only a little, mind you.

Really, it wasn’t his fault that Lestrade had chosen to stand right underneath the window, at the exact moment Sherlock was doing an experiment regarding velocity and air resistance, it wasn’t.

But because he had been standing there, Lestrade now had a dislocated shoulder.

‘I’m going to go now, I need to call my team to find a replacement.’

‘Oh… right.’

And the guilt intensified. Lestrade was supposed to participate in a triathlon the day after tomorrow, as part of a relay team. He was going to do the swimming part.

A figurative lightbulb went on over Sherlock’s head.

‘Ask Mycroft.’

This statement was met with two bemused stairs.

‘Somehow, I don’t think your brother is really the sporty type, Sherlock.’

Oh John, will you forever be keeping that grudge because of one measly warehouse kidnapping?

‘Mycroft is an excellent swimmer. He won several trophies when he was younger, and though he doesn’t swim competitively anymore, I know he keeps practicing anyway.’

Once again, the confused looks. Honestly, Sherlock sometimes thought that was their standard expression. John still wasn’t convinced and snorted disparagingly.

‘Hah, that I need to see.’

But Greg looked half-convinced, knowing that Sherlock rarely exaggerated – except maybe when talking about himself – and if he was this praising about a brother he normally could hardly stand, maybe asking Mycroft was indeed a good idea. Although…

‘Would he agree? I mean, it is rather short notice.’

Sherlock grabbed his coat and moved to the door.

‘I’ll go ask him. He owes me a favour anyway.’

He left John and Greg behind in a bewildered silence. They looked at each other.

‘Is Sherlock alright? He seemed a bit off.’

John shrugged.

‘I think this is his way of trying to apologise for what happened.’

 

Sherlock burst into his brother’s office and plopped himself down on the visitor’s chair.

‘Brother dear, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit.’

He shot Mycroft a toothy grin.

‘Remember that favour you owed me?’

Mycroft sighed and mentally steeled himself.

‘What do you want?’

‘I want you to be Lestrade’s replacement in the triathlon the day after tomorrow.’

His brother looked like he’d had his face slapped.

‘Sherlock, you know my opinion on running.’

‘Oh relax, it’s a relay team, you’d be doing the swimming part.’

At this, Mycroft relaxed and leaned back in his chair, with a thoughtful expression on his face.

‘The day after tomorrow?’

‘Yes.’

‘Only the swimming?’

‘Yes.’

‘And this will delete the favour?’

‘Yes.’

Sherlock shot him a challenging look and Mycroft sighed in compliance.

‘Fine.’

He got up to leave.

‘You can contact Lestrade for further details. See you then, Mycroft, I’ll be sure to bring lots of supporters.’

 

The day of the race came and Mycroft met up with Greg’s friends, David and Harry.

‘Thanks for doing this, mate.’

Mycroft hid his grimace at the familiarity and the backslapping and plastered on a grin – although if he was honest, he wasn’t that upset, he found he was quite looking forward to this.

‘No problem, I’m rather excited actually. It’s been awhile since I swam in a competitive setting.’

‘Right, Greg mentioned you were something of a pro.’

He was about to subtly deflect the praise when his brother showed up with a whole gaggle behind him: John Watson, Mrs. Hutson, Molly Hooper, Greg Lestrade, even Sally Donovan, and behind them all…

‘Mycie! Why didn’t you tell us you were competing? We had to hear it from your brother!’

He shot Sherlock a murderous look. Did he really have to tell their parents?

‘Hello, Mummy, as I’m sure Sherlock told you, it was quite short notice.’

Luckily, he was spared from any further comments by the organisers asking the competitors to check in.

‘I will see you all afterwards.’

His ‘fan club’ wished him luck and he and his team mates moved to the check-in.

 

Mycroft was standing together with the other contestants in the water, waiting for the start sign. Most were wearing full wetsuits or shorts and a tri top, but some, like him, only wore wetsuit shorts. He always preferred swimming bare chested, a full suit just felt too constricting.

When the sign was given, he was off like a shot. Oh, how he had missed this. The thrill of competing, the added difficulty of navigating around the others, and leaning in their waves.

He didn’t finish first, but he wasn’t far off.

David, who was to do the biking bit, shot him an impressed look before riding away.

 

His team ended up doing rather well, Harry crossed the finish line as number 17. When they met up with the others there was a jubilant atmosphere. Everyone except Sherlock and his parents – who knew he could swim – looked gobsmacked and congratulated him multiple times.

Mycroft found he quite enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and made a note to himself to do this more often.

Chapter Text

Sherlock burst into the tattoo shop with John at his heels. He was vibrating with energy, this might be the last clue they needed to solve the case.

The man at the counter gave them a bewildered look due to their brusque entrance, but he quickly put on his best costumer-serving face.

‘Can I help you?’

Sherlock was looking past him, trying to find his target, so John answered for him.

‘We’re looking for a Daniel Stevens?’

The man’s reflexive turn of his head gave away Stevens’ position.

‘He’s with a client right now.’

Sherlock ignored him and walked determinately to the door.

‘Hey! You can’t just go in there!’

John shot the man an apologising look and followed Sherlock into the room. Or he would have, if Sherlock hadn’t stopped in the middle of the doorway.

‘Mycroft!?’

‘Sherlock?’

The two brothers stared at each other in surprise.

‘What the hell are you doing here?’

‘I could ask you the same, brother mine, I am a client of this fine establishment, I don’t think the same can be said about you two.’

‘Client?’

It was only when Mycroft turned around fully that they could see what he had meant.

He gestured at his right shoulder.

‘It needed a little touch up.’

Sherlock didn’t react, his eyes focused his brother chest.

Mycroft looked down.

‘Ah.’

Sherlock carefully came closer, leaving John standing wide-eyed in the doorway – he still hadn’t recovered from the surprise of a tattooed Mycroft, and the discovery of Sherlock’s name just added to the general feeling of being unbalanced. He reached out to gently touch his name and looked at his brother.

Not a single word was uttered, but their eyes spoke volumes. Eventually Sherlock turned around and left the room, John hurriedly following him, not wanting to be left behind.

Mycroft sighed and turned back to the tattooist, who had been watching the proceedings with amusement.

‘I’ll continue then, shall I? Or will there be more visitors?’

Mycroft shot him a tired a smile.

‘Not that I know of.’

Chapter Text

Mycroft had been forced to go undercover again temporarily; apparently, he was the only one who spoke all the necessary languages – clearly their recruiting needed work. Luckily, he could stay local, he only needed to make contact with the London end of the smuggling ring. For that purpose, he was staying in a dirty one-room apartment, he’d already had a few meetings with his contact, and tomorrow he’d meet one of the high-ups.

Mycroft was startled out of his sleep by the sound of banging on his door and voices calling through his door.

‘Police!’

Before he could do more than get out of bed and reach for his dressing gown – he preferred receiving guests while dressed in more than just his pants, thank you very much –  the door was kicked open, and a handful of heavily armed officers came in.

‘Freeze!’

Five guns pointed his way, so Mycroft abruptly stopped his reaching movement, and, still bent over, stood completely still.

Right now, in his underwear, surrounded by angry people with guns, Mycroft held his tongue, and let them cuff him without resisting. But the moment he could, he would make them regret ever existing. His whole operation was now ruined.

They kindly let him put on some sweatpants and a hoodie – he hated undercover clothes – and took him to New Scotland Yard.

Mycroft sat in the interrogation room, only answering their increasingly loud questions with an unimpressed stare.

‘Who were you meeting?’

‘What’s the name of your contact?’

‘It’s in your best interest to cut a deal right now.’

At this he rolled his eyes. Time to stop this charade.

‘In about five minutes, your chief will get a phone call from his boss. He then will storm in here, demanding you let me go immediately. You might want to appease him by doing it now.’

The only reply he got was a scoff. As expected. Mycroft was so looking forward to the look on their smug, stupid faces. Yes, he was being petty. No, he wasn’t just going to let this go.

‘On top of that, you might notice your prospective careers taking a sudden nosedive, not really a surprise that one, as you completely messed up and undercover operation that has been going on for years – that wasn’t even a lie, Mycroft might have only physically gotten involved last week, but he had been overseeing the operation for much longer.’

The first looks of doubt had started to appear on the others’ faces, when the door to the interrogation room suddenly opened and a big, red-faced man stood in the doorway.

‘You’re free to go, Mister Holmes, we apologise for the misunderstanding.’

He relished in the shocked looks and leisurely stood up and stretched out.

‘My thanks, good Sir.’

He turned to the officers.

‘Now, if you will excuse me, gentlemen, I have some cleaning up to do.’

And he strode out, still managing to look like he owned the place, dressed as he was in a hoodie and sweatpants.

Chapter Text

If you asked Sherlock Holmes what he did for a living, you’d get a vague answer ‘I’m just a minor government official’, followed by a subtle change of subject.

If you asked him why he did what he did, you’d get a variation of answers, depending on how well you knew him. Ranging from ‘everything for Queen and Country’ to ‘this is the only way I can keep my brother safe’. The real reason however, he’d never tell anyone. Everything he did, everything he stood for, was a direct result of a desperate attempt to not be like his older brother.

Mycroft was - Sherlock was pained to admit it, but the truth had to be said - so much smarter than him. He had so much potential, but he absolutely refused to do anything with it. He barely graduated from university, and after he did, he fell completely off the grid.

This was also why Sherlock later insisted on having street surveillance everywhere, he remembered the terror of not knowing what had happened to his brother when he was only 11, so when he was old enough, he would do his damnedest to always know and see everything

He finally resurfaced, 10 years later, showing up on Sherlock’s doorstep unannounced, stinking of cheap alcohol and blind drunk. Mycroft needed money and Sherlock gave it to him, it was the only way he knew to keep his brother relatively safe.

The following years passed, with Mycroft getting on and off the wagon. He’d been sober for six months, but Sherlock sensed a relapse coming, when he met Gregory Lestrade.

At first, Sherlock feared this meeting would only worsen his brother’s condition. Gregory Lestrade was on the verge of becoming an alcoholic himself, due to having lost everything in his divorce. He was homeless, penniless and workless – he used to be a Detective Inspector, but he’d had a breakdown after the divorce, and had to quit. All in all, not the influence he’d wish for his brother.

But, to his immense surprise, they were made for each other. Gregory attempted to keep them both away from the bottle and Mycroft convinced Gregory to become a Private Investigator, with Mycroft solving the puzzles – taking out the need for other stimulants – and Greg doing the legwork – giving him another goal in life, plus, his brother abhorred physical activity of any kind. Well, not any kind, as Sherlock discovered that one – and only – time he’d visited them unannounced.

They’d been doing such good work, that he’d decided to employ them himself, as he had a sensitive matter that needed attending to, and whatever else could be said of his brother, he was trustworthy, with the important things anyway.

However, when he walked in to find his brother wrapped in only a sheet and him and his partner giggling like schoolgirls, he started doubting his trust.

Sherlock knew he shouldn’t have lost his temper like that, he was supposed to be the grown up of the two, Buckingham Palace was not the place to squabble like children. Still, when he stepped on the edge of the sheet and saw his brother make a desperate grab for it to preserve his modesty, he couldn’t help but feel somewhat vindicated.

Luckily, Gregory showed himself to be the somewhat adult one – seemingly forgetting about his earlier childishness – and got them back on track. He was right, of course, Irene Adler was a serious problem, he only hoped his brother would be able to handle her.

Chapter Text

John sat at his desk, staring off into the distance, counting down the minutes until his consultation hours were over. There were only 10 minutes left and John had hesitantly started putting away his things when he heard the buzzer of the waiting room go. God dammit, a patient.

Sighing, he put his stuff back and went to open the door.

‘Yes?’

John stared at the man in his waiting room in surprise.

‘Mycroft? What are you doing here?’

The man in question just raised his eyebrows and pointedly looked around him.

‘You are a doctor, no? My reason for visiting should be fairly obvious.’

‘Oh.’

John suddenly realised how rude he was being and quickly stepped aside.

‘Please come in, then.’

Once they were both seated, John laid his hands on the desk and looked at Mycroft in anticipation.

‘What seems to be the problem?’

The ginger man bent down and retrieved a file from a briefcase John hadn’t even noticed until now.

‘I need a medical check before I leave on a flight to Japan tomorrow, but unfortunately my regular doctor was unavailable. You were the closest with the highest security clearance.’

‘I have security clearance?’

Mycroft just gave him a serene smile and John quickly dropped the issue.

‘Right well, if I could have a look at your file, please?’

Sherlock’s brother hesitated before reluctantly giving him the file, and John wondered just how low he was on the list of possible options and why Mycroft couldn’t have gone to any of the others.

He gave it a quick once over and tried to let none of his shock show when he read of the man’s previous injuries – and he was fairly sure this wasn’t the complete file either.

‘Well, if you’d please hop on the bed and unbutton your shirt, I’ll start with checking your lungs.’

The look of abhorrence and the unwillingness with which Mycroft performed this task set the tone for the entire visit. The second John removed his stethoscope for the last time, Mycroft hurriedly rebuttoned his shirt, and with everything John asked him to do, it felt like pulling out a tooth.

He was ever so glad when he could finally sign of on Mycroft’s file and see him walk out the door. John had thought Sherlock was a bad patient, but his brother was a hundred times worse.

Chapter Text

This was completely and utterly unfair. Why was he being punished for correcting the teacher? The man should’ve been grateful someone more intelligent caught his mistake, but no, apparently, he was being a ‘disturbing influence’ or some such nonsense. It was downright ridiculous.

The principal had taken one disinterested look at him and sent him to go help in the garage. The garage! It wasn’t bad enough the whole school was obsessed with that stupid end-of-year race, no, now Mycroft had been dragged into it to waste his precious time on it as well. His little brother was right, school did suck.

Reluctantly he made his way to the garage; which was empty, great. Mycroft was just about to find a chair to make himself comfortable on, when a head popped out from under the nearest car and the body attached to it followed to stand vertically once again.

‘Hello, there!’

Mycroft felt a grey hair manifesting on his head.

‘Hello, Gregory.’

Because of course it would be Gregory Lestrade. They had English together, and Mycroft would never admit it, but he spent most of the class just staring at him, subtly, of course.

‘Oh, hey, Mycroft! What are you doing here?’

Wishing I was somewhere else.

‘The principal sent me to come help.’

Greg’s grin widened.

‘As a punishment? Did the great Mycroft Holmes do something wrong? Say it ain’t so!’

He huffed.

‘If you must know, I corrected my maths teacher, and he didn’t appreciate being made aware of his faults.’

The brown-haired boy threw his head back to laugh while Mycroft stood there embarrassed, but quietly pleased at hearing Greg’s laughter.

‘Right, well, I’ll take all the help I can get, even from young offenders.’

He was the stunned recipient of a cheeky wink. Greg looked him over pensively.

‘You’d best take your shirt off.’

Mycroft blushed madly.

‘I beg your pardon?’

Greg gestured at himself – Mycroft hadn’t allowed himself to fully appreciate it before, but now he had an excuse – he was wearing an old pair of ripped jeans and a ratty looking t-shirt with oil stains all over it. And then to Mycroft, who was dressed in the white shirt and black trousers that made up the school uniform – he’d taken of his blazer earlier, as it was a rather hot day.

‘Your shirt is going to be completely ruined if you get to work like that.’

Mycroft hesitantly looked down at himself. He would prefer to not get oil stains on his shirt, but still, he wasn’t exactly comfortable walking around bare chested.

‘I mean, we still have class after this don’t you? You can wash off stains on your skin, but you can’t show up in English with a dirty shirt.’

Ugh, Greg was right.

‘Fine.’

Reluctantly, he began to unbutton his shirt, grateful than Greg had politely moved away and had turned his attention to one of the cars.

He slowly went to stand beside the other boy, trying to act confident.

‘Well then, what do you need me to do?’

Greg never said anything about his state of undress the two hours they were there, but he’d been staring at Mycroft when he thought the latter wouldn’t notice. Somehow, Mycroft felt there was nothing judging in those looks, quite the opposite in fact, so he didn’t mind it that much.

They left together for their next class – after Mycroft finally succeeded in getting most of the stains off, his shirt would indeed have been ruined, and Greg had changed into his school uniform – in a comfortable silence. It left Mycroft with a warm feeling in his chest.

Chapter Text

Mycroft abhorred social functions. Of any kind. The noise, the people, it was all just too much. Having to force small talk with mindless goldfish was not what he wanted to be doing right now. He’d much rather be at home, with a nice glass of scotch, reading a book or even watching a movie. Nice and cosy. Anything but being a part of this circus.

He’d just finished a mind numbingly boring conversation with some old, dusty Lord who thought himself to be the most interesting man that ever walked on this earth, when he was bumped into by one of the attendants, and spilled his glass of champagne over himself.

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

The man looked at him with wide, shocked eyes, darting nervous glances around him to see if anyone had noticed the commotion. Mycroft felt an unexpected flash of sympathy go through him – he’d obviously gotten a strong worded warning from the head waiter that there were to be absolutely no complaints whatsoever – and abrupted the stumbled apologies that were falling from his mouth.

‘It’s fine. It was only an accident, no?’

The waiter didn’t look convinced so Mycroft tried to give him a friendly smile, the man’s slight flinch told him he might not have succeeded.

‘Really, there is no problem.’

Mycroft turned away and walked to one of the bathrooms to see if he could salvage his shirt. It would be extremely impolite to leave already, but he wasn’t exactly keen to be seen with a dirty shirt.

He turned back around when he felt a hesitant hand on his shoulder; it was the attendant, looking at him hesitantly, worrying his lip between his teeth.

‘I can help you get the stain out?’

Mycroft thought for a second and then gave a little ‘oh, what the hell’ shrug.

‘Lay on, Macduff.’

The man shot him a tiny, startled grin and led them first to the kitchens, where he ducked inside to grab a bottle of liquid dish soap and a little sponge, before leading them to an empty bathroom.

He filled one of the sinks with warm water, added the soap and then tentatively turned to Mycroft.

‘Um, could you, could you take off your shirt? I need to…’

He gestured helplessly at the soapy water and the little sponge.

Quietly bemused, Mycroft began the arduous task of divesting himself. When he’d finally gotten to his shirt, they shared an equally amused smile. Mycroft handed the other his shirt, who started gently dabbing the champagne stain.

An easy conversation flowed between them, with soft-spoken voices and gentle laughs. The spell was broken however, when they were startled by a particularly loud sound coming from right behind the door; abruptly they both remembered where they were and what their perspective roles at this event were.

He was handed his shirt back and before he’d even started buttoning it, the man had quietly slipped outside to resume his duties. Mycroft sighed and readied himself to do the same. Business as usual.

Chapter Text

Greg stared at the man sitting next to him, they were still holding hands. He was holding the warm, slightly damp hand of a man he barely knew. A man who was naked, well, as good as, Greg didn’t quite think a single towel counted as a piece of clothing, it wasn’t even a particularly big towel either.  A man who was wet as if he’d just gotten out of the shower – drops of water continuously rolled of his skin but never made it to the floor – even though that shower had apparently taken place some seven years ago, because, had he mentioned, the man was also dead! Greg was still a bit shook up.

Mycroft had finally torn his eyes away from his little brother – who had been staring back at him with the exact same level of desperation before leaving the room – to look at the first person in seven years who had seen (and touched!) him. He abruptly became uncomfortably aware of how he looked right now and flushed beet red – those seven years away really had broken his hold over his control of his body.

Greg sniggered.

‘It’s a bit late for that now, mate. Besides, I’ve seen stranger things than a man in a towel. Although I must admit that a ghost in a towel takes the cake.’

Mycroft weakly smiled.

‘I would apologise for my state of undress, but this is the first time in years I have had to worry about it, and there isn’t actually anything I can do to change it, so…’

Their shared chuckle was interrupted by Sherlock racing back into the room, John had forced him to go take a shower and he would never admit it, but, he was scared his brother would no longer be there when he got back. So, Mycroft attention once again shifted away from the detective inspector, back to his little brother.

Chapter Text

‘Mycroft, will you please put your clothes back on?’

These are not words John had ever expected to say. Ever. But, when living with someone like Sherlock Holmes, the unexpected sort of becomes the norm, and one quickly gets used to it, one has to, to survive. To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect, as Oscar Wilde once said.

Mycroft giggled and went to hide behind the table.

‘No!’

John sighed and shot his flatmate – who was staring at his brother with a look of pure, unadulterated horror in his eyes – a venomous glare.

‘This is your fault. Fix it!’

Sherlock had given his brother some kind of self made drug – honestly, John thought this kind of shit only happened in bad sci-fi movies – that made him mentally revert back to his four-year-old self. And apparently, four-year-old Mycroft had taken a severe dislike to the clothes he normally wore, so he was now running around in his underwear, staunchly refusing to put on those ‘stuffy, boring’ clothes.

It was quite jarring for John to see the 43-year-old, respectable man, run around, screaming in delight, acting like a child on a sugar rush. It was even more jarring for Sherlock, who hadn’t even seen his brother like this when they were younger, his earliest memory of Mycroft was when the latter was 11 and by then Mycroft had declared himself an adult and rarely, if ever, acted participated in any ‘childishness’.

Eventually, they managed to coax him into some of John’s comfortable clothing, however, since John was a good head shorter than him, the clothes were just a bit too short. Unfortunately, once Mycroft had calmed down, he started asking questions.

‘Where are mummy and daddy?’

John gave Sherlock a panicked look.

‘They um, they had to leave for a bit, and left you with us to look over you.’

Mycroft thought this over.

‘But I don’t know you.’

Sherlock decided to intervene before John popped a coronary.

‘My name is Sherlock, and this is John. They had to leave very quickly, otherwise they surely would have taken the time to introduce us.’

John cleared his throat.

‘Could you please excuse us for a second, I need to talk with Sherlock in the kitchen.’

They left Mycroft sitting on the couch and ducked into the kitchen, where John whirled on his flatmate and started to furiously quiet whisper.

‘What the fuck, Sherlock? You have to fix this! How long is he going to stay like this?’

Sherlock was slightly cowed by his friend’s anger, but only slightly, it was still a win for science, after all.

‘Do calm down, John, the drug only last for two hours, so he’ll be back to normal in about half an hour.’

John took a deep breath and had to forcibly calm himself.

‘You better hope you’re right, Sherlock, or so help me God. You have got to stop drugging people, Sherlock! IT’S NOT OKAY!’

That last sentence had come out louder than expected and they both flinched and looked at the closed kitchen door, there was no way Mycroft hadn’t heard that.

They re-entered the living room to find Mycroft seemingly engrossed in one of John’s book that he’d left on the side table, studiously pretending he hadn’t been listening in, never mind that he was holding the book upside down.

The next half hour, Mycroft plagued them both with a never-ending stream of questions.

‘Where are we?’

‘When are mummy and daddy coming back?’

‘I like the name Sherlock; can I use it?’

‘Are you together?’

‘Can I have something to eat?’

‘I’m thirsty.’

‘Where’s the toilet?’

Exactly when Sherlock had said the drug would stop working, Mycroft fell unconscious. John hurriedly went to check on him, but he woke back up almost immediately.

Mycroft looked around him confused, but then he remembered what had happened. He flushed and then turned a murderous look on his brother.

‘Sherlock. I will fucking kill you.’

Chapter Text

Mycroft came to in a hospital bed. He needed a full five seconds to come to that realisation. He needed another five to remember the circumstances leading up to his hospitalisation. The fact that he needed a whole ten seconds told him more than he wanted to know about his current mental state, and it scared him more than anything else.

‘It’s the drugs.’

And he hadn’t even noticed his brother was in the room. Mycroft closed his eyes in defeat.

‘The morphine slows everything down. You’re fine.’

He wanted to both damn Sherlock to hell and fall on his knees to thank him for knowing what chaotic, panicked thoughts were running through his mind right now.

Sherlock’s humourless smile told him he’d picked up on that thought as well. He came closer and laid a gentle hand on his brother’s. Mycroft squinted at their joined hands in disbelief.

The morphine had dulled his facilities so much that he couldn’t read what was going on in Sherlock’s head, but he didn’t need his deductions to recognise the face his little brother made when he was about to say something he thought both extremely important and incredibly untasteful.  

‘I’m only going to say this once, Mycroft, so you better be listening closely.’

Oh, no.

Sherlock took a deep breath and Mycroft braced himself.

‘I’m glad you’re still alive. I confess I would not have handled your demise well. Now, brother, if you will excuse me, I have to track down whoever ordered you captured and make it very clear that no one but me is allowed to hurt you.’

With that, he swept out of the room.

Mycroft stared after him with wide eyes and turned a speculative look at his IV. Could this have been some kind of hallucination?

Chapter Text

Greg stared at the ginger-haired man standing in front of him in doubt.

‘What do you mean, guardian angel?’

The man sighed and rolled his eyes.

‘What do you mean, what do I mean? What could I possibly mean with ‘Hello, Gregory, I am Mycroft, your guardian angel.’ other than ‘Hello, Gregory, I am Mycroft, your guardian angel.’? What other possible explanation could there be? I did just appear before you in a puff of white smoke, did I not? Honestly, some people...’

Greg wasn’t convinced.

‘Prove it.’

‘Well I never.’

The man – Mycroft? – looked scandalised, as if Greg should have just taken his word for it.

‘How do you propose I do that?’

‘Show me your wings.’

Mycroft looked absolutely gobsmacked.

‘Show you my- ‘

‘Yes. Your wings. You’re an angel, supposedly, angels have wings.’

The ‘angel’ narrowed his eyes.

‘Fine.’

He briefly closed his eyes and then shot a confused look at his back.

‘What the-? They’re stuck.’

Mycroft blushed as red as his hair.

‘That… that normally doesn’t happen.’

Greg smirked in victory.

‘I knew it.’

The other man narrowed his eyes in determination and began to unbutton his vest.

‘You just wait, I’ll show you…’

Greg looked on stunned, as Mycroft suddenly began to take off clothes. When he’d gotten his shirt off, he reached backwards to try and reach his shoulder blades. Greg had been looking on in amusement and was about to speak up again, when Mycroft triumphantly crowed in delight and two white, fluffy looking wings sprouted from his back.

‘See! I told you!’

The silver-haired man just stared in shock.

What the actual fuck?

Chapter Text

Mycroft was not used to being looked at with such – dare he say it – desire. Pure, naked desire. People had been interested, sure, they might have even found him attractive – but only if they saw him in a certain light, for most that meant no light – but no one, no one, had ever looked at him the way Greg was looking at him right now. Like it was all he could do not to lose control and take him right then, right there. Honestly, Mycroft wasn’t even doing anything. He wasn’t even naked or anything. Yet. Because if Greg kept it up, Mycroft could not be held responsible for his actions.

Sherlock had sent him a text, so he’d come running, like he always would, he hadn’t even taken the time change into a proper suit – he’d been at home, relaxing, and even though he adored his suits, they weren’t really appropriate lounging around clothes.

When he arrived at 221B Baker Street and entered his brother’s apartment, Sherlock left with a shouted ‘never mind!’ and left him alone with a certain grey-haired detective inspector, who apparently really enjoyed seeing Mycroft dressed in a simple blue shirt and trousers.

And, Gregory just licked his lips. This was it, Mycroft gave up.

He turned around to walk downstairs, when Greg made no move to follow him, Mycroft called him from over his shoulder.

‘Coming, Detective Inspector?’

Greg scrambled after him and followed him into his car; Mycroft regretted not having called in a driver, as Greg was giving him some very interesting looks.

They finally arrived at his house and the minute he closed the door, Greg pounced on him with abandon. Mycroft felt the buttons on his shirt fall victim to the other’s fingers, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to care. This was shaping up to be a very good night indeed.

Chapter Text

John didn’t really know how it had happened. One moment, he, Sherlock, Mycroft and Greg were having tea and maintaining a stilted conversation, with Mycroft and Greg shooting each other sneaky little glances – honestly, those two needed to get their acts together – and the next, Greg and Mycroft had suddenly gotten their acts together because they’d jumped each other like horny teenagers.

At first, John and Sherlock had watched in shock, unable to move, but when Greg had succeeded in unbuttoning Mycroft’s shirt and stated licking his nipples – to the great pleasure of Mycroft ‘Oh, please!’ – they’d gotten out of there like the devil was at their heels.

They’d fled to Sherlock’s bedroom, which was the nearest, and had slammed the door close in an effort to keep out the sounds ‘God, Mycroft!’, not that it was all that successful.

John stared at Sherlock in astonishment, but realised that his flatmate had a guilty look in his eyes, behind all the disgust and surprise.

He narrowed his eyes.

‘Sherlock. What did you do?’

(John privately thought he’d said that sentence way too many times already.)

Sherlock got that shifty look in his eyes which meant that he’d done something he knew John wouldn’t approve of, but he’d still done it anyway because science.

The doctor closed his eyes in despair.

‘Please tell me you didn’t give them an aphrodisiac.’

‘Well… not exactly.’

That answer did not inspire any confidence and Sherlock seemed to notice that too because he hurriedly continued.

‘It was just supposed to lower their inhibitions, like alcohol, only faster, I didn’t quite expect this to happen.’

John would have felt pity at the absolutely horrified expression of his flatmate’s face, but really, Sherlock had brought it all on himself. Having to see (and hear, those walls were really thin, ‘Please... more’) his brother have sex was just the beginning of Sherlock’s punishment.

And oh God, no. He’d drugged a police officer. Sherlock was so fucked.

After another half hour of having to listen to the two of them going at it on their couch, John and Sherlock decided drastic measures were called for.

They fled through the window.

Chapter Text

Ever since his first discovery of Mycroft’s film career, Sherlock had done his very best to prevent John from looking at any of his other works. He was desperate to avoid another such occasion where John was thinking about his brother naked, because that could never happen again. Never. 

But this weekend, Sherlock had gone to Nottingham for a case and wouldn’t be back till Monday, and John literally had nothing better to do. So, he decided to watch the rest of Mycroft’s career on the big screen. He laughed till his sides hurt.

The next few times he saw Mycroft, he did his best to slip in some quotes, to the great amusement of the man himself and the growing confusion of Sherlock – who, if he’d ever watched it, had now deleted anything that had featured his brother.

When Sherlock had once again evaded the camera’s and Mycroft was sighing in weary acceptance.

‘What is the point of putting a camera in someone’s eyes, if they never see anything helpful?’

When John came home to find Sherlock and Mycroft locking eyes in a battle of will.

‘Hello, hello. What’s going on? What’s all this shouting? We’ll have no trouble here.’

When Mycroft was subtly alluding to all the times he’d threatened people with an ‘illegally gained fire arm’.

‘You know how it is when you have a gun and you want to know something.’

When John came back after spending a night with his girlfriend to find the two brothers deducing every detail of his evening.

‘She made me do things that would make a whore blush.’

When Mycroft was trying to blackmail Sherlock into accepting a case.

‘Here’s my counter-offer: I let none of you go, and shoot all of you many more times than necessary.’

Sherlock was going half mad trying to figure out these ‘codes’ and what they meant, and more importantly, why his brother and his flatmate were suddenly conspiring.

Mycroft had come to visit them for tea, and Sherlock was madly writing down every single word they said to each other, when John decided to pull out his last trick.

‘Mycroft.’

Both of them noticed the tone in his voice. Sherlock sat up straight in anticipation, certain that these next words would be of the utmost importance, and Mycroft curled his lips and amused anticipation, he didn’t know exactly what John had planned, but he knew it would drive his brother crazy, which was more than enough for him.

‘I’d like your autograph.’

And he pulled out a picture he’d been carrying with him for weeks – he still couldn’t look at it without giggling. Sherlock snatched the picture out of his hands – just as planned – and looked up in pained confusion.

‘WHAT?!’

He glanced between the two of them.

‘No. What? I don’t… what?’

He wandered out of the room, totally confused, leaving John in tears and Mycroft grinning wildly.

‘Thank you, Dr. Watson, these last few weeks have been highly amusing.’

John wiped the tears from his eyes and laughed.

‘Oh, I know. It was hilarious to see him trying to understand. Oh, God, his face.’

Mycroft took the picture and looked at it for the first time. His eyes opened widely.

‘Oh, dear God. That one.’

He shot John a cheeky grin and took a pen out of his pocket.

‘I do hope you enjoyed my performance, John.’

‘Immensely. You were brilliant. You’ve been demoted, to dead man. And then the awkward hand chop. Utter genius.’

Mycroft looked very pleased with John’s enthusiasm and handed back the photo.

‘I must admit that I quite enjoyed playing Mark Gatiss and, subsequently, his roles. It was quite… freeing.’

At that moment, his phone rang and he shot it a sad look.

‘Alas, duty calls. Goodbye, doctor, and do give my brother my regards.’

Only when Mycroft left did John look down at the photo, he let out another giggle.

To my biggest fan, John Hamish Watson.
P. S. Semen is such a persistent stain.

Chapter Text

Mycroft had been locked up in this tower for as long as he could remember. He didn’t even know he was locked up until recently. He had always thought that his life was as normal as anyone else’s, that everybody lived in a locked tower in the middle of a creepy forest with no visitors except their mothers, who came every night and climbed up through the only window – really, this whole no doors thing had obviously not been thought through. Mycroft also didn’t find it weird that his mother climbed up using his chest hair as a rope, I mean, why would he? It was common practice for him.

This outlook on life changed however, when he heard, for the first time ever, someone who wasn’t his mother come past his tower.

Mycroft ran to the window and almost fell out of it in his attempt to see this mysterious stranger. And what a handsome stranger it was. He was seated on a pristine, white horse, dressed in the finest clothes Mycroft had ever seen – admittedly, that didn’t really mean much, but still, he recognised their quality – soft looking, brown, wavy hair, curious blue eyes… Curious blue eyes? Shit, he was looking at him! Mycroft hurriedly ducked away in embarrassment, he could feel his cheeks turning red.

‘Hello, there!’

Ok, it’s ok, play it cool.

Mycroft looked back out the window and let out a strangled sound that was supposed to be ‘hello’. He recovered himself.

‘Um, hello.’

The stranger waved gently.

‘I’m Greg.’

Mycroft swallowed, trying to calm himself, he could do this, he could totally have a normal conversation with the first person he’d ever talked to, besides his mother, he could.

‘I’m Mycroft.’

The man was looking around the tower in confusion.

‘How the hell did you get in there? I don’t see any doors…’

This was something Mycroft had wondered about a long time as well. Again, the practicality of this wasn’t very high.

‘I, um, I believe the door was sealed shut when I was old enough. My mother comes to visit me through the window.’

Greg took a measuring look at the distance between the window and the ground.

‘What, she climbs up or something?’

‘Well, yes.’

Greg raised his eyebrow.

‘So, she’s an older woman, who climbs up a rope and through a window, regularly, because she sealed the door? Well, that doesn’t sound suspicious at all.’

Mycroft shrugged.

‘I have long ago given up trying to understand my mother’s ways.’

‘Still… you must be lonely.’

His blush that had barely started to disappear, came up again, with a vengeance.

‘Maybe, a little, sometimes.’

Greg looked like he was trying to hype himself up to ask something.

‘Do you, do you want me to come up? I could keep you company…’

When Mycroft didn’t immediately answer, he hurriedly went on talking.

‘Or I could just stay down here. We could talk some more.’

Mycroft hesitantly looked around, it would be nice to talk some more with Greg without leaning out of the window, and his mother wouldn’t be here for hours yet.

‘You, uh, you can come up if you want.’

Greg looked relieved.

‘Great, thanks. So, um, throw down the rope?’

Mycroft gathered up his chest hair and threw it down.

When the other man reached the top, rolled through the window and got up, he spread his eyes in surprise. He looked at Mycroft, at the hair, and back.

‘That… I, what?’

He shook his head.

‘Did I just climb up your window using your chest hair as rope?!’

The ginger-haired man cocked his head in confusion. He didn’t understand Greg’s surprise.

‘Yes?’

Greg looked like he still couldn’t believe it.

‘How is that even… How the hell is your chest hair long enough to do that?? That just doesn’t make any sense?!’

Mycroft had shrunk back a little in fear of Greg’s rising voice, he meekly answered.

‘I don’t know, it’s, it’s always been like that. As long as I can remember.’

Greg noticed the effect his behaviour had on Mycroft and instantly calmed down.

‘No, no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell. I just, I’m a bit surprised is all.’

He stayed quiet for a bit, engrossed in this strange, new discovery.

‘How does it not hurt like hell, though?’

Chapter Text

Mycroft was soaking wet. Absolutely, soaking, to the bone, wet. He figured he quite resembled a drowned kitten right about now.

It had been raining like mad whole day, and until now he had been able to stay safe indoors, but now, he had to walk these few metres from the car, across the street, and then inside the building. It would take 15 seconds, tops. He should have been perfectly fine. Should.

He had gotten out, immediately putting up his umbrella – and Sherlock mocked him for carrying it everywhere, hah, who was right now? – to try and shield himself from most of it. That only sort of worked, as the rain seemed to be coming from every possible direction, but some wetness couldn’t be helped.

Mycroft had crossed the road, taken great care to avoid the numerous puddles adorning the side of the road. He’d been celebrating his victory of making it through almost completely dry – he should have known not to count his chickens before they hatched – when tragedy struck. A particularly violent gust of wind took off with his umbrella, and, while he was still shocked due to being suddenly exposed to all the elements, a car sped by, driving through the puddles Mycroft had not a moment ago skilfully avoided, splashing the red-haired man with dirty rain water. And immediately after that, another car, with the same results. It was like a scene from a movie. Only it wasn’t a movie, and Mycroft was now soaked, his suit completely ruined, and he had a meeting in 15 minutes.

This was not his day.

Despite his resemblance to a pathetically wet, small feline, he still strode inside the building with his usual aplomb. Appearances must be kept after all. Mycroft studiously ignored all the wide-eyed looks he got and the trail of small drops he was leaving behind him.

He made it to his office, where – praise the lord! – he always kept a spare suit; quickly he stripped out of his wet clothes and started towelling himself dry. And this, was when Anthea walked in.

As said before, not his day.

To her credit, she took the sight of her naked boss in her stride and barely even blinked.

‘I’ll give you another five minutes, sir.’

Mycroft decided to follow her lead and act like everything was fine, nothing to see here, carry on.

‘Yes, thank you.’

She left the room again and Mycroft hurriedly dressed himself. Five minutes later, he was completely put together and sat at his desk when Anthea led his visitor in.

Just a normal day at the office.

Chapter Text

‘You want me to do what?!’

Mycroft looked up at Lady Smallwood in shock. He could not have heard her correctly, it was impossible; he must have been hallucinating, or she was, either way was fine for him, he just needed to know what she said was not true or relevant in any way to his life.

But, it wasn’t to be. Not one of them was taking any delusion inducing drugs today, although Mycroft felt he could have used a few.

Aliciabeth curled her lips and smiled a teeth-baring smile that really shouldn’t be classified as a smile at all.

‘I want you to be Mr. December in next year’s calendrer.’

Mycroft couldn’t wrap his head around it.

‘But why?! I’m assuming you actually want people to buy this calendrer? So why on earth would you put me on the damn thing??’

Lady Smallwood’s smile softened a little – but only a little, she was still a fearsome sight to look at and most people would have quailed before it and done anything she wanted before running for the hills if given that smile.

‘Because, Mycroft, and I know you find this hard to believe but bear with me, you are an attractive man.’

Mycroft just scoffed and waited.

‘Fine, otherwise I have to do it. Now, go. I’ll owe you one.’

A dumbfounded look appeared on his face. He choked on his words.

‘You expect me to do this now?’

‘Yes.’

She was completely unrepentant.

‘Now, Anthea cleared your schedule and she knows where you need to be.’

Mycroft didn’t move and she raised an impatient eyebrow.

‘What are you waiting for? Come on, chop chop.’

He felt himself move in a daze. This couldn’t possibly be happening, could it? He was just having a nightmare. Yes, that must be it. Just a dream.

Mycroft only started to actively notice his surroundings again when he suddenly found himself meeting the photographer. Who seemed delighted to see him.

‘Oh, but this is marvellous! Look at that magnificent suit, we might not even need to have you change clothes!’

He was ushered out of his suit jacket and pushed in front of a white screen. The man gestured at the only piece of furniture, a big, golden, ornate throne-like chair. You have got to be kidding me. Hesitantly, he sat on it, feeling uncomfortable in only his shirtsleeves and waistcoat, with so many people staring at him.

The photographer focused on his sleeve garter, cufflinks and pocket watch and gasped in delight.

‘Oh, you beautiful, wonderful man. I wish everyone dressed like you, all the time.’

He was enthusiastically taking a lot of photographs – instructing Mycroft all the time, ‘sit up a little’, ‘look to your left’, ‘rest your head on your hand’ – when one of his assistants came up to him and whispered something in his ear. The man’s face fell.

‘Oh right.’

Mycroft wondered whether this mood change boded well for him or not.

‘I had almost forgotten… we received very explicit instructions as to how you should be immortalised. Although I still think my idea is better.’

That last part was murmured and Mycroft had barely been able to hear it, but it was enough to tell him that no, this would not bode well for him.

He was shown a changing room and told to change. There were two coat hangers, one held a plain green shirt, the other a pair of simple black trousers. Mycroft regarded this with suspicion, there had to be more behind this, surely? Lady Smallwood would never make it so easy for him.

They had told him to not put his shoes back on, so, barefoot, Mycroft walked back to his doom.

Mycroft made to once again sit in the chair, but the photographer stopped him.

‘No, no, please lean against the chair for me.’

He threw Mycroft a blindingly red Santa hat.

‘Put that one please. Oh, and unbutton your shirt.’

He winced at the government official’s indignant look, he gestured vaguely at the ceiling.

‘I’m only following orders.’

Mycroft closed his eyes, counted to ten, and then, with deliberate stillness, began to unbutton his shirt. He would get through this and Aliciabeth would pay for this. Dearly.

He stiffly leaned against the chair.

The man winced again.

‘The hat, please.’

Mycroft gritted his teeth and put the damn thing on his head. He was completely focused on getting this over with as soon as humanly possible.

The photographer, sensing Mycroft’s extreme displeasure, kept quiet except for softly spoken suggestions for a position change which Mycroft stiffly followed.

Finally, Mycroft was allowed to leave. He swept into the changing room, and stalked back out without speaking a word to anything.

Not even Anthea or his driver dared breathe a word in his direction. Mycroft Holmes on the warpath was a Mycroft Holmes to be avoided.

Chapter Text

Mycroft called him while he was in the middle of his crossword – what the hell was ‘subtle charm of a city for the natives’?

John picked up reluctantly, he had learned a while ago that it was never a good idea to ignore Mycroft Holmes, unless you were his little brother, of course, then you could ignore him all you wanted.

‘Yes?’

He kept absentmindedly looking at the crossword. Starting and ending with an ‘a’…

‘I require a favour, Dr. Watson.’

Well, Mycroft really cut straight to the chase here.

‘A favour. From me?’

He could just hear the other man’s eyeroll.

‘Yes, Doctor Watson. A favour from you.’

John fiddled with his pencil.

‘Um, sure. What is it?’

Mycroft tsked.

‘You really shouldn’t agree to things without knowing the details, John. In any case, I’d prefer not to speak of it over the phone, I’ll have a car pick you up.’

Well, it’s not as if he had anything better to do.

John felt Mycroft was about to hang up, so, he quickly spoke up.

‘Mycroft? One question.’

There came a sigh over the phoneline.

‘Yes?’

‘Subtle charm of a city for the natives. Five letters.’

‘Aroma.’

And then he only heard the beeping tone.

Of course. Aroma.

 

The black car dropped him off in front of a beautiful house, in a very expensive looking neighbourhood. This must be where Mycroft lived. He knew the Holmes brothers came from money and that Mycroft must have a pretty fat pay check, but still. Holy hell.

Mycroft must have been waiting for him, because he opened the door the moment John had stepped away from the car door. John had to contain a gasp, Mycroft looked – there was no delicate way to say this – like shit. Bags under his eyes, hair uncombed, dressed in loose-fitting clothes, he was practically slumping against the doorway.

John hurried to him.

‘Mycroft! Jesus Christ, what happened to you?’

Mycroft just shot him a weary look.

‘It has been a very long week.’

 ‘… it’s only Wednesday.’

At this the other man groaned – groaned!!!

‘I know.’

John decided to take charge, he closed the door behind them, grasped Mycroft gently by the shoulder, and steered him in the direction of what he thought was the living room. It wasn’t. But luckily, Mycroft turned them around so that they eventually found ‘the room with the comfortable sofas’.

He eased Mycroft in one of them and went to sit in the closest one.

‘Now then, tell me what I can do.’

Mycroft closed his eyes and carefully sank back into the pillows. Once comfortable, he started talking, not opening his eyes.

‘You remember, I am sure, a few months ago, my visit to the massage clinic.’

John did remember. He also noticed that he hadn’t seen Mycroft there again since, he figured the man had been scheduling appointments with his eye on John’s schedule.

‘You told me afterwards, to call upon you should I need more assistance. Well, here we are. I’m afraid I rather overexerted myself this week and the clinic is closed until the day after tomorrow.’

John paused. If Mycroft couldn’t wait two more days and had called in John, he must be in serious pain indeed.

‘Alright, so, you need me to give you a massage.’

Mycroft opened his eyes to shoot him a grateful look.

‘If you’d be so kind.’

He led them to the next room, where all the supplies John could possibly need had already been set up. Mycroft answered his amused glance with a self-deprecating shrug.

‘I believe in being prepared.’

That, John could see.

He left Mycroft alone in the room, to let him disrobe; while he waited, he tried his best to wrap his head around the current situation. It didn’t work. John couldn’t figure out how his life had come to this, being in Mycroft Holmes’ house, about to give him a massage, because, the man was not a power-hungry paper pusher with a cushy desk job, he was a man with a body more scarred than most of the soldiers John knew. It was a hard thing to accept.

John was prepared for the sight that would greet him, so he was able to keep a professional attitude when he walked back in.

A much more relaxed Mycroft showed him out, gratefulness shining in his eyes.

‘Much appreciated, doctor. I owe you a favour now, use it wisely.’

With these slightly ominous words, Mycroft shut the door in his face, and left John to ride back to Baker Street.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was once again having to change clothes in his office, after accidentally spilling his tea all over him – no one must ever know about that. Honestly, deciding to keep a spare suit at the office must have been the best idea he had ever had.

He’d just taken of his wet, brown-stained shirt, when Lady Smallwood barged into his office.

Mycroft fought the urge to cover himself and raised an imperious eyebrow.

‘There is such a thing as knocking, Aliciabeth. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I hear it is quite the rage nowadays.’

Lady Smallwood smirked and didn’t even try to hide the fact that she was ogling him.

‘Oh, you know me, Mycroft. I don’t like following those new trends.’

Mycroft was beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable under Lady Smallwood’s wandering eyes and his nipples had tightened.

Aliciabeth had noticed this too and was watching with undisguised glee.

‘My, my, those calendrer photos really didn’t do you justice, Mycroft. You look good enough to eat.’

This is where Mycroft draw the line. It’s not that he wasn’t flattered by Lady Smallwood’s, rather obvious, interest, but he just wasn’t interested. He straightened up and moved to guide his visitor to the door.

‘As always, it was a pleasure, Aliciabeth, but as you can see, I am hardly dressed to receive visitors.’

He looked at his watch.

‘And I have a meeting in ten minutes.’

Lady Smallwood let herself be escorted out, she knew exactly how far she could push Mycroft and when she needed to stop. As a parting gift, she patted him on the chest and gave him a winning smile.

‘Until next time, Mycroft.’

Chapter Text

Mycroft Holmes would never admit that he was nervous. Not out loud anyway. He’d long admitted to himself that this was pure madness, and what the hell was he even doing? Yes, he’d had quite a few freak-outs already. Not that those did any good, because he couldn’t not do it, he was magically bound to compete.

The Slytherin rued the day his parents had ordered him to put his name in the cup. Ever since Sherlock had been sorted into Ravenclaw, and not into Slytherin, like every Holmes in the history of ever, his parents had been coming down extra hard on their oldest son to ‘bring glory to the family name’. He counted himself lucky that although his family was big on the whole ‘traditions are there for a reason, and new things are not to be trusted’ thing, they at least weren’t supporters of the Dark Lord; no, the Holmes family had always stayed neutral. Which meant that any suspicion Sherlock got came from his own talent of being annoying and not as much because of his last name. It also meant that Mycroft could be friendly with a Gryffindor.

It had started in the beginning of their fifth year, they’d known of each other’s existence of course – Mycroft was famous for being able to get you anything, for a price of course, and Gregory was the star Quidditch player – but it wasn’t until they were both made prefect, that they spoke more than two words to each other. A, perhaps unlikely, friendship had blossomed. And, ever since the first task – what the hell were they thinking, dragons?! – when Greg had pressed a hesitant kiss against his lips, that friendship had been turning into something else.

Greg was probably the one, next to Sherlock, who knew Mycroft best. So, though Mycroft had the whole school fooled into thinking he was completely collected and ultra-confident, Greg knew exactly how nervous Mycroft was. He pulled him closer while they were walking to the lake.

‘Hey, you’ll be fine. You’ve got your gillyweed. Just jump in, swim down, take back whatever precious thing they took and swim back. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.’

Mycroft let out a small chuckle.

‘Yes, of course. Piece of cake.’

They’d arrived at the pier and it was time for Greg to go find a seat, he softly squeezed Mycroft’s shoulder and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

‘I have to go now, I’ll see if I can find Sherlock and sit with him, yeah?’

Mycroft felt a small pang of pain go through him; true, the brothers had drifted apart ever since his brother started Hogwarts, but he’d at least hoped Sherlock would come to wish him luck.

He took off his robe, standing in only his swimming shorts and shivered in the cold wind. He looked at the other contestants; they were all wearing a top, damn it, he should have thought of that too. Mycroft double checked the wand brace on his calf and palmed his gillyweed; he just wanted to get this over with.

The start sign was given and Mycroft swallowed the gillyweed, he had to wait a few seconds for it to work, leaving the bystanders to wonder why he was still standing there when the others had gone off like a shot – Mycroft figured they were using a bubble-head charm, he’d thought of using that too, but had eventually decided for gillyweed, because the webbing would help him swim more easily. Eventually he felt the gills forming, and jumped into the water as well.

He made his way through the murky water, swimming deeper and deeper down – fighting off a few grindylows along the way – until he finally came upon the village of the merpeople. Mycroft followed the singing voices until he came upon a middle square, where three figures were bound to a statue, guarded by a bunch of merpeople.

Sherlock!

He sped up and furiously began to cut the ropes. What kind of irresponsible bullshit was this? They were supposed to keep minors out of this! What the hell did they think they were doing, involving eleven-year-olds in this madness? The moment he got them both up, he would have words with the organisers of this stupid contest.

Mycroft started to swim back, dragging his brother with him. He could feel the gillyweed becoming less effective, but he didn’t worry, as he could already see the surface.

They broke through the surface and Sherlock woke up, gasping, and looking around in confusion. Mycroft pulled him closer.

There were people on the pier waiting with warm towels and hot drinks, so Mycroft started slowly swimming that way, gently pulling his brother behind him. Greg was there as well, waiting for Mycroft with a happy smile that turned into a concerned frown when he saw Sherlock.

Mycroft left his brother in a towel, dodged Madam Pomfrey, who was trying to feed him some kind of potion, and stalked to where he saw Headmaster Dumbledore talking to Crouch Sr.

It was time to file his complaint.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was a field agent. And a damn good one. He was fluent in ten languages, adequate in five and he could charm anything and anyone. The only hiccough was the physical aspect. He was slim, sure, but that was because of his height, he wasn’t fit. He hated exercising, he hated being a sweaty mess afterwards. Unfortunately, as a field agent, he was required to be in peak physical condition, and so, there was a mandatory two times a week gym session. It was torture.

A big, muscled man kept telling him to ‘go faster, come on, you can go deeper, really push yourself’ as if he wasn’t wheezing and panting, sweat running down his face. Why did he have to get such a sadistic trainer? He never saw anyone else who was being worked to the bone like him.

Then, when Mycroft had slid to the floor like a pile of wet noodles, and he really couldn’t move another inch, he was finally allowed to go. But the torture wasn’t yet over, oh no, he had to shower first. Mycroft refused to be seen all sweaty, so he needed to use the gym’s facilities. There was only one problem: it was a communal shower.

Mycroft stood under the water, surrounded by other naked men, washing himself as efficiently as possible, very carefully not looking at anybody. The not looking bit was important; one man could think you were looking at his cock and start beating you up, another could think you were looking at his cock and demand a blowjob – Mycroft had experienced both.

During his shower and subsequent towelling off and dressing, Mycroft was objected to some ‘good-natured’ ribbing about his performance during his training.

‘I think you lasted five seconds longer than last time, Holmes, you’re improving by leaps and bounds.’

‘Soon, if you keep training hard, you’ll be able to do two push-ups instead of one.’

‘You’re good at squats, though aren’t you, Holmes? You must have a lot of practice.’

He was ever so glad when he could finally leave the changing room.

‘Always a pleasure seeing you again, gentlemen, until next time.’

Assholes.

Chapter Text

‘John.’

The doctor was laying sprawled in the couch while Mycroft lay in his brother’s armchair.

‘I do believe my brother has drugged us.’

John thought about how loose and happy he felt and giggled.

‘You’re probably right.’

Mycroft giggled as well.

‘I can’t really bring myself to care.’

They stayed like this a while, until John suddenly shot up – and immediately fell on the ground. Mycroft peered at the man in concern, but he waved a hand to indicate he was fine.

‘Oh, the carpet it really comfy and soft… Anyway! Mycroft, we should play strip chess!’

Mycroft thought deeply.

‘Should we?’

‘Yes!’

He shrugged, who was he to argue with Captain John Watson.

‘Okay.’

John crawled to the cabinet, where he knew Sherlock’s old chess set stood. He started setting up the board on the side table and Mycroft leaned closer in interest, misjudging the force of gravity and sliding from the chair to the ground; no matter, he could reach better this way.

‘Have you ever played this before, Mycroft?’

He smiled in remembrance.

‘Oh yes, many times, at university.’

John got an interested gleam in his eyes.

‘Did you win?’

The ginger-haired man pulled his best haughty look.

‘Of course I did, I only lost once and that…’

Here he blushed and John leaned closer in anticipation.

‘That was because I wanted to lose, I was rather keen on my opponent, you see.’

John smiled widely.

‘Oh, tell me about it, the number of bets I have purposely lost for the sake of seduction.’

Mycroft made a vague hand gesture in his direction.

‘Exactly so, now, you are playing white, your move.’

John made to grasp one of his pawns, but stopped, his hand hovering above it. He gave Mycroft a cheeky look and pulled his hand back.

‘I think we should even the playing field a little. Don’t you agree, Mycroft?’

Mycroft was slightly suspicious.

‘… How?’

The blond gave him a shit-eating grin.

‘Well, obviously you are much better in chess than I am and you are wearing more clothes, so, just to be fair, you should start on the same level as me, which means, he looked down at himself, that you should start with five pieces of clothing.’

The government official frowned in confusion.

‘I thought the piece of clothing to be removed depended on the chess piece that was lost?’

Now it was John’s turn to be confused.

‘It does? Huh. Do you remember the rules?’

Mycroft shook his head, it was too long ago, and he was too out of it right now.

John huffed and stared moodily at the board. A second later, his face lit up.

‘Oh! We can play strip battleship instead! One hit is one piece of clothing.’

Mycroft readily agreed, it sounded fun.

The game was quickly set up and they started playing with a ferocious look in their eyes.

Unfortunately for Mycroft, he wasn’t having any luck. He lost his shoes, socks, vest and waistcoat, while John only had to take off his jumper. With John’s next hit (A-5) Mycroft looked down at himself and then at the other’s challenging grin. Oh well, nothing for it. And he took off his shirt.

John cackled when his next turn was once again a hit (Mycroft had missed again). Defiantly, Mycroft stood up and dropped down his trousers before he could change his mind. John had been openly staring at the bulge in his pants – Mycroft blamed the automatic responses of his traitorous body – when Sherlock burst in with a grin. A grin that quickly turned to horror. He had expected them to be laying on the couch (separately!), talking nonsense, he had not expected to find his brother half-naked and his flatmate staring at said brother’s body.

John turned to Sherlock with a big smile.

‘Look, Sherlock, I’m winning!’

This was too much for Sherlock and he ran – fled – back out, slamming the door behind him.

The two looked at each other and shrugged, they were used to Sherlock’s peculiarities. Mycroft sat back down decisively, this time he would hit one of John’s ships, he just knew it.

Chapter Text

‘Oh, Mycroft!’

The man in question winced, Lady Smallwood visiting his office was a worrying sign in its own right, but Lady Smallwood visiting his office and looking like the that got the cream, was even worse, because it meant bad news for Mycroft personally.

‘Yes, Aliciabeth (I honestly can’t type this keeping a straight face)?’

She went to sit on the edge of his desk, and acting nonchalantly – as if they didn’t both know every word she would say was carefully prepared and its impact measured – began talking, not even looking at Mycroft.

‘Do you remember that photoshoot you did so well in last year?’

Did he remember? It still haunted him, Sherlock kept rubbing the stupid thing in his face and for some reason that stupid calendrer had even made the news – Mycroft had no proof but he knew Lady Smallwood was behind it – and so his parents had seen it as well. He would remember it always, because no one would let him forget.

‘Well, as you know, it gained quite a bit of attention,’

That’s an understatement.

‘and we’ve had a… request, if you will, from PETA.’

Mycroft froze, please let this not go where he feared it was going.

‘They want to recreate the calendrer, for one of their campaigns.’

No. No. No. Please, no.

‘It’s called ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’, I’m sure you’ve heard of it.’

Finally, Lady Smallwood turned to look at him, just in time to catch the initial hint of despair before he buried it under his usual mask. She smiled at him.

‘Absolutely not! This is utterly ridiculous. You roping me into the calendrer was bad enough, but I refuse to participate in something as inane as this! And furthermore – ‘

Mycroft stopped his tirade when he noticed Lady Smallwood’s smile had not dimmed, the opposite in fact, it had gotten only bigger.

‘It wasn’t a request, Mycroft. This is an order direct from above, it has already been approved, it’s supposed to boost our reputation or some such nonsense.’

Mycroft huffed.

‘We’ll see about that.’

And he stormed out of his office, intent on forcibly changing the mind of whatever idiot had signed off on this.

But, no matter how many favours he called in or how many people he threatened, he could not stop this from happening. Mycroft was baffled, how the hell could he not get this to disappear. He could stop and start wars with a single phone call, but he couldn’t wriggle himself out of a stupid photoshoot? What the actual fuck.

He arrived on the day of the photoshoot looking like a man who was walking towards his death. Mycroft wished that were the case, the sweet relief of death would be much preferred to the torture waiting for him.

When he entered the room, he could see the exact same set-up as last time: white screen, golden throne, before they gave him a white dressing gown and sent him to the changing room to disrobe. Mycroft took his clothes off as slowly as he could and folded them with great care. He tied the way too short dressing gown shut, and steeled himself. It would be fine – it wouldn’t, really, but Mycroft was ever so good at lying to himself.

When he finally came back out, they handed him a familiar looking Santa hat – Mycroft wished he could have burned the damn thing – and a gaudily looking present, it was wrapped in bright red, glossy paper and had a huge golden bow.

Surely, they didn’t expect him to use that to…?

Mycroft looked desperately at the faces – why were there so many people here? – around him.

They did.

Fucking hell.

Best just to get this over with, ripping off the band-aid in one go, as they say.

He made his way to the throne, jammed the Santa hat onto his head – for the second time in as many years – positioned the present as best as he could, holding it steady with one hand, and with his other, awkwardly took off his dressing gown. When he finally succeeded in doing that, he threw it to the side. Mycroft took a deep breath. He was ready.

It felt like the shoot took ages to finish, Mycroft was starting to cramp up from standing there so tense. Finally, they told him it was enough; someone brought him his dressing gown – looking away politely – and he hurriedly tied it close again.

Mycroft thought this was the end of it, and he could now go home to plan his move to Peru, but they stopped him. Apparently, there was to be a group photo. A group photo. Mycroft was expected to be naked around eleven other people, with lasting evidence.

As the other months shuffled in, Mycroft consoled himself with the fact that these were true ‘minor government officials’ and thus wouldn’t know who he was. A small comfort.

Way too small.

He was standing at the end of the group, holding up his end of the banner, trying to subtly turn away from the person next to him without it being obvious on the photo.

Moving to Peru to herd goats wasn’t good enough; he’d need to fake his death. That was the only sensible option.

Chapter Text

Anthea and Mycroft had been locked in a bottle of wills for the past fifteen minutes. Not a word had been spoken, the whole conversation had taken place through facial twitches. Anthea raised one last questioning eyebrow and Mycroft sighed in defeat, Anthea was right.

He stood up and re-buttoned his vest, best to get it over with.

They needed a file from Lady Smallwood that was incredibly classified, and while Anthea did have the necessary security clearance, she was right in saying with that last eyebrow that he couldn’t afford to insult Aliciabeth by sending ‘a lowly assistant’. So, he had to go get it himself. He had to go to her office. Where she was. Alone.

God dammit, stop acting like a child.

Mycroft knew she would never do anything, but the looks made him ever so uncomfortable.

He dithered in the hallway in front of her office awhile, before straightening up and walking in. Aliciabeth’s assistant gave him a questioning look.

‘Is the Lady Smallwood in her office?’

She quickly pressed a button on her desk, most people wouldn’t have seen it, but Mycroft was trained to notice these things.

From inside the office he could hear Aliciabeth’s voice.

‘Come on in, Mycroft.’

He nodded politely to the assistant and entered her office.

Where he was instantly confronted with a picture of himself, half-naked.

That was another reason he didn’t like visiting Lady Smallwood. She had kept both the Mr. December and the PETA photo, and had them out every time Mycroft came for a visit. Like always, he failed to repress a blush when brought face to face with it.

Aliciabeth smiled smugly.

‘Yes, Mycroft?’

He shook himself, focus.

‘I need the Peters file.’

She raised her finely manicured eyebrow.

‘Do you, now?’

She stood up and came to him, standing uncomfortably close.

‘And why would I give it to you?’

Mycroft lost it. He’d had an atrocious day already, combined with his annoyance at the photos, and now this. Enough was enough. He moved away from her and crossed his arms; she seemed surprised at his sudden mood change.

‘Because, Lady Smallwood – ‘

She raised an eyebrow at the formal address.

‘we are equals, we have exactly the same clearance level, and the only reason you currently have the Peters file is because you took it from my office not a month ago. Furthermore, I am more than tired of your constant innuendos. I am not interested, Lady Smallwood, I am, in fact, a homosexual, so I’ll thank you kindly to back off.’

Mycroft almost shouted that last part and when the last sounds gave way to silence he closed his eyes in defeat. Fuck. He hadn’t meant to lose his temper like that. He took a deep breath.

‘I aplog- ‘

He was interrupted by a smiling Lady Smallwood.

‘Well, that was about time.’

He stared at her quizzically.

‘I beg your pardon?’

She gave him a gentle smile.

‘I’ve been waiting for you to do that for years. It’s good to finally see you standing up for yourself, honestly, I was wondering how much further I was going to have to push.’

Mycroft stared at her, slack-jawed.

‘I kept expecting you to report me for sexual intimidation. I would’ve reported myself, if I were you.’

Aliciabeth sensed Mycroft wouldn’t be able to speak for a while yet, so just gathered the file he needed, pressed it in his hands and gently led him out.

‘Until next time, Mycroft.’

Mycroft found himself in the hallway, staring at the file in his hands, not quite sure what had happened exactly.

No matter, he could think about this later, for now, there was work to be done.

He walked back to his office.

Chapter Text

‘Mycroft.’

‘No. absolutely not. I am not doing it.’

Sherlock and Mycroft were both furiously glaring at each other, while John was looking on, incredibly amused.

‘Mycroft, you fit the description perfectly, and you have experience with this kind of thing.’

Mycroft’s eyes flashed dangerously and his voice went low. He glanced at John so quickly, that John thought he’d imagined it.

‘How dare you.’

Sherlock had an almost apologetic look on his face. John was getting the feeling he’d missed something.

‘I meant with going undercover. But yes, I won’t deny that your experience with the other thing would help as well.’

John’s eyes widened, by ‘the other thing’, did he mean… surely not. Mycroft shot him a venomous look.

‘And why exactly did you involve Dr. Watson in this, you can’t imagine I’d react more favourable to anything you ask me after you exposed my private life!’

Sherlock winced.

‘There wasn’t another option, Mycroft. By the time I realised we needed you, he was already involved in the case.’

Sherlock hurriedly went on before Mycroft could protest his so-called necessity.

‘I’ve explained to you the situation, lives are at stake. You know we can’t find someone else who fits the description in such short a time. If you won’t do it, I’ll have to.’

Here Mycroft snorted.

‘Don’t be ridiculous, they’d be unto you immediately.’

John sensed this meant Mycroft’s capitulation.

The ginger ran his hands over his face and through his hair.

‘Fine. Fine, I’ll do it.

He gave them both the stare of doom, but behind it sat an oddly vulnerable look.

‘Afterwards, you will never speak of this. To no one.’

John was expecting another typically flippant response from Sherlock, but to his surprise, the consulting detective laid a hand on his brother’s shoulder and spoke with a promise in his eyes.

‘Never.’

After Mycroft turned to look at John, he nodded as well.

‘I won’t say anything.’

They met up a few hours later, a street away from where Mycroft would need to meet the contact.

Mycroft showed up – John almost didn’t recognise him – dressed in tight black trousers and a leather harness.

He firmly ignored John’s shocked reaction – except to shoot him a threatening glare to remind him that he was Mycroft bloody Holmes, and not to be messed with – and focused solely on his brother.

‘I hope you realise you now owe me several favours. Big ones.’

Sherlock smirked.

‘Yes, yes, whatever you say, brother dear. Now, help me solve my case.’

Mycroft gave him a fleeting smile and then straightened up, walked to the corner and disappeared out of their sight.

Chapter Text

She woke up to found herself in an empty room. On second thought, she wasn’t sure it actually was a room, as everything around her was the same shade of grey, leaving her to guess at the possible presence of walls. She was too scared to move.

Suddenly her surroundings changed and she found herself in her dorm room, there were her dirty dishes from last week – she really needed to get to those, this morning she’d had to eat her cereal out of a cooking pot – there were her clothes hanging over her chair, there was…

Ok, she was definitely dreaming.

There was Mark Gatiss, sitting on her couch – he really shouldn’t have sat right in the middle, that’s where it sags the worst – staring around her room in disgust.

Oh, and did she mention? He was dressed as Val Denton from the League of Gentlemen. That is to say, undressed as Val Denton. It was probably nude day.

And now he was glaring at her.

That’s unfair. The first time I meet him, I can barely speak and the second time I do, he’s mad at me, not fair.

She then remembered this was a dream and stopped bemoaning the unfairness of life. For a while. Because then she started complaining to her brain, why would you make me dream about meeting Mark Gatiss and have him be pissed at me??

For the first time, he opened his mouth.

‘Oh, you know exactly why I would be angry with you, don’t you?’

She got a shifty look in her eyes.

‘No…’

She lied unconvincingly.

‘I don’t know why you’re here. Nope, not at all. Not a clue. Ik zou het niet weten. Je ne sais pas. Ich weiß es nicht. Jag vet inte.’

He rolled his eyes.

‘Will ye shut up?!’

He shot her another murderous glare.

‘Why on earth did you make me sound like that?’

She shook her head in denial.

‘What do you mean I made you sound like that? I’m not a, a, dammit what’s the word?’

His eyebrows were silently mocking her lacking knowledge of the English language.

‘PUPPETEEER! I’m not a puppeteer. I can’t make you do stuff.’

She thought a bit and then gave a philosophical shrug.

‘Well, consciously anyway. It is my dream, but right now I can’t make you do anything.’

He sighed in despair but seemed to agree to let the problem lie.

‘Back to our previous conversation.’

His voice lowered threateningly.

‘You know why I’m here.’

She slumped and pouted.

‘Fine, go ahead.’

He switched from Val Denton to Mycroft Holmes and grasped his umbrella with a look of satisfaction.

‘Now, then.’

Jesus, that stare looked way less creepy through a television screen.

‘What have you to say in your defence?’

She cowered a little, but still tried valiantly to hold his steely gaze.

‘Um, shits and giggles?’

He raised his favourite eyebrow.

‘Care to try again.’

‘Artistic freedom?’

He tutted.

‘Now, now, tell me the real reason.’

She pouted again.

‘Fine; if I did it I’d get extra credit.’

He smiled condescendingly.

‘See, that wasn’t so hard, now, was it?’

He stood up and brushed some imaginary dust off his suit.

‘Far be it from me to stand in the way of your desperate attempts to pass your classes.’

He ignored her indignant gasp, and pulled a small Karate Trophy from his inside pocket.

‘Here’s your trophy – you really have been watching too much Brooklyn 99, my dear – and with that done with, I will be leaving you.’

He disappeared, leaving behind a puff of smoke, and she stood there, staring at the trophy in her hand.

What the fuck just happened?

Suddenly his voice thundered all around her.

‘And go do your dishes!’

Chapter Text

Alright, so, I got a complaint regarding copyright and all pictures I put in here.

Whoever made the complaint was right because I completely forgot about copyright issues, and I apologise for that.

(I can't believe I forgot about it, my professors would kill me)

I hope that with me removing said pictures the issue is now resolved.