Sherlock's grave is filled with nothing but soil.
Mycroft curses it, propped up by his umbrella in the yard of their family estate (London, Mycroft thinks, Sherlock would prefer to be buried in London). The headstone is placed ahead of those where Holmesian men have been buried for centuries, and Mycroft will likely be lay next to him (he who isn't there, Sherlock ever elusive in death as in life).
Centuries with no proper cemeteries, like they are superior in some way or function to the masses, set apart from them, as if they are moreso connected by their lineage for their dowry. Cemetery is the polite word for it but Sherlock favours the word 'graveyard' because it cuts to the raw heart of his audience; also it is a compound word which assists comprehension, and thus delivery. A cemetery could be anything if one did not know the Latin derivative of the phrase-- 'coemētērium' converted from Greek, 'to put to sleep.' Sherlock knows Latin.
There's an awful, animalistic sense of euthanasia likened with that 'put to sleep' imperative, as if by putting someone beneath the ground you're killing them that much more. Or murdering who they were to you, which is what it feels like every time Mycroft tries to refer to his brother in past tense or think of him as dead. It feels like some part of Sherlock is still around, a whisper in the air in this big ancestral nightmare with only reminders of what Mycroft has lost and what is still there.
Things he has long forgotten; the exact tread of the tyre they suspended from a rope in an inertia project (which caused him to bruise painfully as it fell), things he never discovered (a bank receipt with certain genetic markers sequenced on the back-- underhand investigation into hereditary disease in their family).
If Sherlock was here he'd say something scathing about only being appreciated by Mycroft in death and absence. True, and partially Sherlock has been separate from him his whole life, as the official is too used to admiring him from a distance, only being able to look but never being able to touch, like he is a precious exhibition at a gallery too dear for him to buy out.
And now some tasteless criminal has come in and vandalized his beautiful, honest masterpiece of a little brother, burned away his clear, sharp edges and his coffee brown curls and his spindly, delicate fingertips.
The stone plate is only a given marker for the loss Mycroft sees everywhere, like he should cry on the swing set and cry in the limousine and cry wherever he goes for all the physical reminders Sherlock's life is gone and that his inscription will not fade.
He keeps trying not to let his guard down and acknowledge it, like it would make Sherlock think less of him to accept the evidence at face value. Like he's going to say, "oh, so you're pretending I'm not around now?" to all the living, breathing signs of him because it does feel like he's still here, just a hair's length out of reach, like always. Does he do that disservice to all the souvenirs of his brother's hard life, try to move on because Sherlock wouldn't care if Mycroft mourned him, because they weren't friends, or does he hold on because no one knew Sherlock like he did? When Sherlock deserves to be remembered?
Mycroft will regret every day that he was not a good enough brother for Sherlock to come to for help. That he wanted so badly to be respected by the boy's genius and yet so wary of and hardened to his rejection that Sherlock didn't realize Mycroft loved him even more than himself.
Everyday Mycroft hunts down the henchmen that worked for Moriarty and he gets them but they never suffer the way Mycroft does, they never see the weight of an unalterable evil that will never be properly avenged. Moriarty is already dead and Anthea takes Mycroft into the car and she asks him what she can do.
"No, what can I do?" Mycroft says. "What can I do to make these circumstances right? How can I fix the balance of crime so he has his retribution?"
Some days he blames himself more than others and he stares down the knife that could be on his throat and he weighs how directly responsible he is for the death of Sherlock. If he had called that second earlier, if he had focused less on his stupid cases than Sherlock's own one, instead of trying to lure his brother towards him just reaching out.
"Moriarty killed him," John likes to repeat in Mycroft's presence, and it makes him angry. It's like saying god killed Sherlock, or fate did. "No one could have predicted this."
But Mycroft could have, he more than anyone, and even if he weren't able, to say otherwise is irresponsible, it's petty, when each event in their lives has been the sum of various minutiae known and unknown. Mycroft might not have known his distance would kill Sherlock, but he should have predicted that it would set them apart (to stop the interference Mycroft always presumed he would manage) and that his death was not avoidable.
Mycroft remembers his own, pathetic, justification-- that Sherlock is a sociopath, so he never could care anyway. The selfish implication that Mycroft couldn't let Sherlock in because Sherlock would break Mycroft because he would never love him at all.
And the horrific conclusion that Sherlock did it for all of them, that he can't face on even his worst days, that Sherlock might have given his life, so sparable for the grief of everyone around him. It made Mycroft want to shoot everyone Sherlock knew for daring to make the man think somehow that they were worth more than him.
That Sherlock might have repaid his distance with matyrdom, that somewhere under it all, he secretly cared (and that Mycroft lost his chance to love the brother that would want him to) is enough to make Mycroft want to rip back every astray piece of his brother and try to squeeze his body back to life with all the jolts in the world, just that Sherlock might know it true.
Mycroft will hunt down and kill the bastards who stole the corpse of Sherlock Holmes, and he will find the body of his brother and put it in the ground, and then he will put in his own.